Posted by: aboutalbion | May 2, 2012

It takes a village to raise a child

I went to Birmingham yesterday for the funeral of the last of my mother’s friends.  My mother died in 2003, and the recent death of ‘Auntie’ Marjorie at the age of 99 means that there are no significant adults from my childhood still living (to the best of my knowledge).

Despite the pouring rain, the funeral visit brought home to me that certain parts of Birmingham were “the village” that was so formative for my childhood.  There were my two homes in Hall Green, the three schools that I attended, and lastly my fascination with (and many visits to) the city centre of Birmingham.  These were the elements of the first eighteen years of my life that went into creating my mental map of ‘the world’ as I saw it then.

If I attempted to write a history of my childhood, I made a note yesterday to spend some time revisiting these locations.  I am not in touch with anyone from my first two schools.  Four of us from my secondary school kept in contact, and now one of these (Mike) has died.  So, apart from my brother who lives in Holland, I have only been able to keep up with two others – Alan in Devon and Chris near Bristol – from these childhood years.

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