Monday, 28 December 2009

Christmas; another time, another place

This is me, aged five, in December 1962. I've just received my present from Swiety Mikolaj (as opposed to Santa Claus), at the Polish school in Ealing. Inside the box was an plastic toy locomotive, like this one but in orange, without any stickers on it. A few weeks later (for St. Nicholas's Day is celebrated on 6 December), I received for Christmas two tin-plate trucks, rather like this one. And a Lego set, seen on this catalogue (set 212 or 213).

Time to get metaphysical. Something around these presents triggered in me an early 'anomalous familiar memory event'. A pleasant memory, though patently not of this lifetime. When I think back to that Christmas, to those toys, I can still feel that sense of 1950s USA and Scandinavia, the textures, the klimat, the wonder at feeling a different reality, as a small child, that I knew was entirely at odds with what I'd experienced in my short life to that time.

Winters that feel like they do today; snow-covered gardens with small evergreens, outdoor lighting, neat, white, detached, modern houses - not Hanwell London W7.

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