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Sunday, 13 March 2011

Saying Goodbye. Or rather, not.

Dear Diary,
today my teacher confiscated my space invaders game that I just got and also my packet of crisps. I got very upset but he said I could have it back at the end of the week. Maths was hard and at reading time I got through two chapters of my book about the Faraway Tree.

Oh, and Mam said we don't live with Dad anymore.

Yes, I have come to the end of my memories of what I consider the first of 3 major stages in my childhood, although I'm sure loads more will come back to me now I'm moving on. It's surprised me a little, to be honest, how few memories I've been able to dredge up from that time and how many of those have fallen apart when examined, given the strength of feeling I've always had about that period of my life and about living in that place. The smallest things really can make the biggest impact on people I suppose.

So yeah, we came home from school and my Mother was there, along with one of my Uncles, packing our belongings into his car. We were leaving, right then, before my Dad came in from work. The plan was to go and stay at good old Auntie Mickies house until we got sorted with somewhere else more permanent. (I did get a trifle excited about the possibility of seeing a little more of the 'annoying' Anne,although I'd never have admitted it of course) We were bundled into the car and out of there within 10 minutes of getting home. Didn't even take our coats off.

It could have been a very traumatic time for a young lad. Being separated from his Father, without even being given a chance to say goodbye, not having any idea as to why it was happening; it could scar a boy for life. So, naturally, I didn't care. My relationship with my Dad had never been the best and the thought of no longer living with him didn't really bother me in the slightest.

I never did find out what caused the separation. I certainly don't remember any arguing or things being particularly tense between them, and given the shoebox we were living in I'd imagine it would have been pretty hard to hide, even if they'd cared enough about us kids to try. Maybe it was simply a whim on my Mams part, who knows? She certainly isn't known for her good decision making when it comes to men. Or, you know, anything else.

And so in the space of about 20minutes we left behind everything we'd ever known. The flat, which despite the deprivations I had thoroughly enjoyed living in. The sheds with the lethal swings. The school, with it's defunct sports program. The fields out the back with the killer horses. The cricket ground and the free cakes on match day so long as you didn't let on just how dull you thought cricket actually was. The Grandparents and Uncles who seemed to live pretty much everywhere you turned in that village and meant you were never far from a welcoming door. Most importantly though, we left behind my brand new space invaders game, which was still sitting in my teachers drawer. I was gutted about all of those things; just not about my Dad.

I could say that my Dad maybe got dealt something of a rough hand in this whole affair. I'm not going to though. You see, after the separation, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times we had contact. A lot of promises were made and a lot of promises were broken. My own attitude shielded me from any major disappointment but I watched a lot of tears fall from my sister and brother so I think I'll save my sympathies for them.

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