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Memory Lane

My daughter was sitting in a chair with wheels attached to it and wearing a spaceman’s helmet…


The presenter standing beside her on the stage asked her,” Where are you grown ups?”

Meri pointed at me with a big grin on her face, “There’s my daddy.”

I waved proudly back.

We were at the Science Museum in London and my daughter had volunteered to take part in an experiment on stage in a show about how rockets work.

She was having a ball and loved the attention and the fun of it all.

When I was young too loved the museums in London. They were full of adventure, excitement and incredibly exotic and glamourous for a little lad from the wrong side of the tracks in Leicester. I remember having butterflies of excitement as we bundled into my uncle’s Dolomite Sprint (remember those?) for our journey into the centre of town for a day visiting. The fact of the matter is that these were rare and precious occasions for me. My children are a lot luckier (this was their second trip to the Science Museum this year alone) but they were experiencing some of the magic that I had 35 years earlier.

What made this trip all the more special was the fact that my uncle (he of the Dolomite Sprint) was there with us enjoying the day out. For me, there was an added poignancy to this trip because it was a double trip down memory lane – the uncle who took me to the Science Museum enjoying it with my children.

My mother is the oldest of 8 siblings. After my father died at two days before my seventh birthday her brothers, my uncles, stepped into that gap. Three of her five brothers lived in the UK and all of them brought something special into my life. One would bring me little presents and take me to the sights; another would spend hours helping me with projects like airfix kits of fighter planes; another would bring new foods and spices into our house and share them with a huge grin on his face.

On our way out of the museum after an exhausting day, we wished my uncle and aunt goodbye.

My aunt looked happily at the two kids playing together in the lobby of the museum, “If she’d like Meri can come and stay with us when you’re next in London.”

Meri overheard and scampered over nodding.

“I think she’d like that,” I answered delighted that the strong relationships I had were being transferred across the generations.


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