Looking back:

Have begun writing some of my memoir into short stories. This is one example:
Empire Day
I watched my mother make toffee apples. The sweet smell of sugar melting, bubbling fast with the bright red cochineal added. No stirring allowed as the sugar became toffee. The dimpled, large tin tray was filled with skewered toffee dipped apples left to set.

The year was 1956, May school holidays. The neighbourhood kids, my brothers and I had scoured the bush on the parade for dead branches and trees. We’d collected anything flammable. Old tyres were a prized find, though previously these had to be hidden from a rival arsonist gang, who had burnt our bonfire down the year before.

This year we joined forces with the rival gang and invited them to help build our bonfire and share the night. They were not so scary, once we got to know them. Two of them, the Stone twins, led a tough life, having to milk the cows each morning and night, helping their mother after their father had died. We all had fun dragging dead branches and piling them up until the bonfire was huge.

Cold winter darkness descended. Dressed warmly in our woolen coats and full of anticipation, we all went to the paddock opposite where the bonfire was ready to be lit. My mother waddled carrying enough toffee apples for everyone, the tray resting on her extended stomach. After distributing them, mother collected everyone’s crackers and put them onto another large tray to prevent them being lit at the same time so that it would extend the fireworks display.

Dad lit the fire illuminating excited faces. Flowerpots disgorged their red and yellow sprays of colour from the fence post. A few tom thumbs ignited, popping here and there, with penny bungers and Jumping Jacks being thrown, scaring the unwary. Catherine wheels spun skewered to fence posts. Rockets soared out of beer bottles, spraying red, green and white stars.

Suddenly there was a ruckus. Someone had thrown a large cracker onto the tray, which started igniting the rest. My mother dropped the tray, jumping back as crackers went off in every direction. A rocket whizzed between her legs as she hopped and danced. Disappointed, without understanding why, my brothers and I were quickly gathered together and taken home.

It wasn’t until the next morning that we were told our brother, Angus, was born on Empire Day. He came into the world with a bang and inherited a crackerjack personality.

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19 thoughts on “Looking back:

  1. auntyuta

    I hope, you’re going to publish many more of these memoirs!
    It reminds me that maybe I can go back to some of my memoirs?
    At age 82 one is in danger of soon not being able to remember anymore certain details in one’s life. To write down as much as possible while there is still time for it, I think this is the way to go.
    Just now I am about on catching up on some of your posts.
    Cheerio, Uta 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Christine J Randall

    I’ve thought of you often and decided to have a peek to see if you are blogging. Hurrah! I enjoyed your toffee apples and bonfires but have no idea at all about Empire Day. The name rings no bells. Happy very belated 70th birthday, and it is great about your film role and joining the writers group. All the best with the writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. bkpyett Post author

      Lovely to hear from you Dixie and am glad this stirred you! Am writing but haven’t posted for ages. Must do so soon! Hope all’s well at your end.

      Like

      Reply

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