An Unexpected Trip Down Memory Lane

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On route home from our recent Spa Break Travel Review: Wonderful Spa Break – Part 3 – Brasserie is Best – This Mancunian is not a ‘Fine’ Diner…, we took a last minute detour into Tewkesbury, which is a smallish Town with an unexpectedly large Abbey.

Why we decided to divert off the motorway on our journey home and take that trip into Tewkesbury, I’ll never know…. but somehow, I think I was ‘drawn’ down that road for a reason as it provided a key which has unlocked a part of my mind that was locked away..

What an unexpected trip down Memory Lane we had both in Tewkesbury and the key we found and bought home, has shone a light on memories long forgotten, in more ways than one!

On first arrival, we thought we wouldn’t be too long on our little ‘detour’ as like many of our Towns, Tewkesbury contains it’s fair share of Charity Shops as the UK High Street’s struggle..

However, as we meandered at a leisurly pace down the High Street, we began to notice lots of lovely ‘individual shops’ and some absolutely fabulous ‘vintage’ shops which sparked our interest.

I’ve got a big box of old ‘slide’ photographs that we found and have never seen before which holding them up to the light, contain many images from our childhood..

We’ve been unable to look at them properly as we didn’t have a slide projector, so when my husband spotted an old ‘slide viewer’ in one of the Tewkesbury Vintage shops, it was a ‘must purchase’ and hey – for only £4.00 is definitely worth its weight in gold.

We normally hear of people burying their ‘sad’ memories but for me it was the opposite.. I remember the ‘hard days’ very clearly but could only recall a few happy childhood memories.

This ‘view finder’ doesn’t look like much does it? Yet to me, it is truly priceless and it’s been the ‘key’ to unlocking many long forgotten HAPPY memories!

Since returning home, it’s been like walking through a ‘candy store’, now that we can finally ‘view’ the photographs on those slides.

That little ‘find’ in Tewkesbury has opened up a world from my childhood that I simply didn’t remember, which is understandable for the very young ‘me’ pics, but surprising for the pics of me as a young teenager and yet I have no recollection of the photographs being taken and in many cases, where we actually were.

It’s a strange thing.. my dad took lots of photographs and yet mum had hidden the slides away.. As we grew older, we sort of new they were there but for some reason, she would never let us go through them. She said she couldn’t bear to be reminded of those long gone days… For our me and my sisters, it’s like discovering a ‘lost world’.

Our childhood wasn’t too easy. Mum was incredibly stylish and an amazing cook and in her own way, she loved us all dearly… However, like her father before her, she was a bit of a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ character. She’d had her own difficult upbringing and she never really delved deep enough to work through the scars she’d been left with and I realise looking back, that this had a lot to do with her behaviour towards us..

We were very rarely or never ‘smacked’, I certainly don’t recall it anyway, but my sisters and I all suffered ‘THE SILENCE’… I used to fear it.. If I did something that mum wasn’t happy about, she would ‘put me into silence’…  Oh THAT FACE… and it could last for weeks.. during which even the vacuum somehow seemed to be ‘angry’… yikes!

However, on the other hand, if I did something that ‘pleased’ then the reward of her smile and loving hug was like winning the lottery!

So my childhood swung between those 2 extreme emotions depending on mum’s mood…. I suspect this may be why I don’t remember the photographs and why books were my ‘friends’ as a child .. a place I could retreat into a world of dreams.. For one of my sisters, she retreated into the world of ‘Fairies and Magic’ which has remained with her as you can see in the photograph below.. her love of mermaids and all things spiritual/magical remains!

Bev Mermaid

The emotions of those imposed ‘silences’ have long stayed with me and my ‘happy childhood memories’ were few, although I had an incredibly deep sense of love for mum and through her final years, as she travelled her journey into Dementia, our bond and love for each other was immense.. we laughed and cried together as the light dimmed on her amazing mind..

However, having the opportunity following purchase of the ‘view finder’, to look through mum’s old photograph slides, has opened up a new personal and ‘happy’ history..

I’ve been reminded of a different side of my childhood that for some reason had been lost in the ‘echoes of my own mind’.  Incredible reminders of the ‘Happy’ days, where mum was laughing and playing.. (I don’t remember those times). Smiling faces as we walk through beautiful countryside on our camping and later caravan holidays. Mum swimming and playing with me in the sea and looking at me with true love in her eyes.. It made me cry when I saw that photograph for the first time last week!

Having seen these photographs, I’ve had a light shone into a corner of my mind that was untravelled and would otherwise have remained forgotten….

I’ve also been reminded this week from reading other blog posts of some of the amazing lessons she taught us.. My love of reading, the quest to seek more knowledge, my love of nature. She taught us not to be avaricious, to place value on the ‘little things’ in life. She made us strong and now I often find myself repeating her words and philosophies on life, which even though I didn’t always appreciate at the time, were actually right in so many ways!

I can finally appreciate those lessons and values that she instilled in us.. not always in the best way, but still, in a way that made me the person I am today…..

Our trip to Tewkesbury took us down ‘Memory Lane’ in more ways than one though…….

After out wander down the High Street, we came to the wonderful Tewkesbury Abbey http://www.tewkesburyabbey.org.uk/ and the ‘old’ part of Town.

Wow – what an amazing step back into Ancient Britain… We are so lucky to have this wonderful heritage and historic sights to see all around the United Kingdom.. England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland… let’s hope we don’t lose this wonderful connection and bond in these politically tumultuous times!

As we wandered through this part of the Town, we happened across an  unassuming ginnel which beckoned me in…

…. and once again, I was well and truly led down ‘Memory Lane’ and indeed ‘time travelled’ back to a 17th Century cemetery where I’m sure I finally let go and left behind a few ‘ghosts’ from my own past….

As we came back out of the passageway, we found ourselves next to the very ‘unusual’ Abbey Tea Rooms. Indeed the most fascinating tea rooms I’ve ever seen and which continued our Time Travel trip … this time back through the 1900’s – Wow what an incredibly journey down my ‘Memory Lane’

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If you ever visit Tewksbury, a trip to The Abbey Tea Rooms is an absolute MUST!! It’s a unique experience.. Here’s just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of what we saw as we sipped our tea and we were cast back to our childhood memories and to a bygone era…

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Every inch of the walls, ceilings and tables are covered in vintage items of every type, shape and size…

Ohhhhh that magazine with Donny Osmand’s smile staring back at me, just like the poster I had on my wall as a teenager… the old spinning top, the string of conkers and of course the ‘non PC’ postcards that were a constant source of amusement to me as a child on holiday – I spent many an hour reading those cards when we were on our camping holidays…

Having worked 70+ hours per week for much of 2015, seeing the newspaper aspiring to ensuring people work only a 40 hour week made me smile.. we really haven’t ‘advanced’ when it comes to how we work have we? We may not be working down ‘coal mines’ very much any more, but are many of our businesses today, really that much different when it comes to ‘slave labour’?

Tewkesbury will forever remain in my heart, for it’s given me a ‘view’ to my past.. the gift of a key which is unlocking deeply buried and yet ‘happy’ childhood memories…

How Wealthy I Am!

 

30 Comments Add yours

  1. Miriam says:

    What a wonderful post Wendy giving me such a glimpse into your past, into the life of your mother and to how you are today. Quite amazing how a simple viewfinder can unlock so many untapped and otherwise hidden memories and parts of our past. Clearly you were meant to find it. Thank you for taking us down memory lane with you. This was a beautiful read. Sending you lots of love and hugs as I begin to wind down for bed here. xo

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Wendy says:

      Oh thanks so much Miriam and I’m delighted you enjoyed this post… Memories are truly priceless and to have some happy ones unlocked has been magical and given me a shift of perspective… Good night and many blessings sent with love and a hug! x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Miriam says:

        You’re so right Wendy, our memories are truly priceless. I’ve just woken up and done a short meditation in bed. During the course of it random memories of mum came flooding back to me and by the end I had a few tears streaming down my face, but not sad ones, just pure love and remembrance. Hope you’ve had a lovely day Wendy as I start a new one. xo

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Wendy says:

          That’s so lovely Miriam.. I suspect that’s your mum sending you a BIG Hug after all the memories stirred with your family this weekend.. I’ve had a lovely day Miriam.. clearing kitchen cupboards out ready for the ‘big paint job’ haha.. and also listening to the ‘motivational CD’s by Andy Harrington who is the trainer I’ll be seeing in a couple of weeks. I’m really impressed with the CD’s so far.. and it made clearing cupboards much more interesting! I hope you have a lovely day too after your joyful recollections and meditation! xx

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Miriam says:

            What a great idea listening to your motivational CDs while clearing your kitchen cupboards, that’s multi tasking at its best. Glad you had a good day Wendy. I should be getting out of bed soon I spose and get on with my day. Time to have my morning cuppa in your mug! xo

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Wendy says:

            Fab – and I’ll be having my last cuppa in my very similar matching one.. haha – yep – I love listening to the ‘motivational you tube clips’ of some great speakers too.. while I’m working.. it certainly makes the task better! Enjoy your brew and I have a brilliant day.. x

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Miriam says:

            I will indeed … now off to start my day! xo big hugs and cheers ☕️

            Liked by 1 person

  2. sudershana says:

    So lovely post and beautiful images✌👍♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wendy says:

      Thanks so much and I’m delighted you enjoyed it! x

      Like

  3. Peter says:

    Your cuz really enjoyed reading this blog. Look forward to seeing a few pics in the near future. 😘😘 Xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wendy says:

      Yay Cuz! Looking forward to showing you some pics very soon!! Love you lots… xxx

      Like

  4. Poetpas says:

    Nice post again Wends and the pics are cool

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wendy says:

      Thanks Mr P – yep that Cannon is coming into it’s own now I’m getting a bit more used to it! Have a great week.. xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Poetpas says:

        Good, if you ever want to give it away I’ll have it 😂😂😂 Enjoy your week too 😗

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Wendy says:

          Have you ever heard the saying: “Fat Chance and No Chance!!!) Mr P …hehe – and thanks – I’m planning on a great week! x

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Poetpas says:

            No never lol 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Wendy says:

            I like to ‘teach you’ something new then!! haha xx

            Liked by 1 person

  5. PaperPuff says:

    What a great post! I am so glad that you found something good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wendy says:

      Thank you so much and I’m glad you enjoyed reading a bit of my ‘history’.. Life is strange sometimes and gives us unexpected surprises.. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wendy, I feel like I’ve been walking down memory lane with you and your sisters and mum. 💜 So glad you got the photos in a form you could see! Sounds like it was super transformational for you. Sending you blessings on your journey, of the nurturing of your heart and so much love
    Blessings
    Debbie

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Wendy says:

      Thanks Debbie.. yes life is certainly a journey with lots of different pathways to discover.. and sometimes when you least expect it! Thanks so much… love Wendy xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post, loved it. I have one of those viewfinder things too..memories eh? Not always the easiest thing to deal with but ultimately all part of Life’s learning curve :)xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wendy says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed reading Samantha and you’re right.. memories – good and bad they make us who we are in the learning journey of life! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dearest Wendy, oh what a trip. Big hugs your story touched my heart and i just want to send you hugs and say well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wendy says:

      Awww – that’s so lovely – thank you Bella! That hug was perfect to start my morning off beautifully and is returned with love! x

      Liked by 1 person

  9. karenlee says:

    I read this one the other day and still it makes me smile. What a fabulous trip down memory lane (I spied our Donny in the slide show up there <3). We have home movies from the 50s that we've watched twice, on the projector from the 50s that belonged to my grandparents. My dad was in the navy and shot most of the film (they are on 18 separate, 3 minute reels), and my grandparents shot some while on vacation. It's only video, no audio, but still, to see my father as a 21 year old, and my grandparents walking around on vacation. PRICELESS. Glad you found that viewfinder. Great post. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wendy says:

      Oh yay – It must have been ‘my day’.. x

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What a lovely find and thank you for sharing your memory with your mum. I understand what you mean about the scar some parents carry from their childhood. My mum is still alive but she did have “the wall” which I managed to break down while we were nursing my terminally ill dad. Now, she is more affectionate and expressive towards me. Unfortunately, my grandmother was not a very nice mother, and my mum was badly hurt by her. I will try to find family albums my mum squirrelled away somewhere and do my trip down memory lane!😊xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wendy says:

      Aww – thank you so much! I think we’re much more open these days to talking about these things whereas in my mums day and your mum’s too probably, there emotions weren’t discussed and therefore they often remained ‘stuck’.. I can see that with my mum looking back. I hope you enjoy your trip down memory lane too! x

      Liked by 1 person

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