Zen’s post about Neil Armstrong is an ‘urban myth’. Nonetheless, events in childhood can have a very strong influence.
There are two places I’ve always wanted to visit: China and Australia.
The urge to visit China started when I was about seven or eight and I read one of a series of books about twins by Lucy Fitch Perkins. I’d read most of her other ‘twin’ books, but the story of the Chinese twins caught my imagination: round doors, a different form of writing and girls not being educated. At eight, I vowed I’d get there one day…
Even stranger is my reason for wanting to visit Australia.
Until I was six and a half, I lived in a flat just down the way from the Oval Cricket Ground. At that age, I moved to Merton Park – Wimbledon for those who don’t know London – into a house with a garden. Almost immediately, my father bought me a dog – which was black and white and which I, with typical six-year-old inspiration, promptly named “Spot”.
It was many years later that I came to understand that not only did my mother not like my father, but that she liked cats, dogs and all other ‘critters’ even less.
I came home from school one day to find that Spot had gone, vanished without a trace… When I asked what had happened to my dog, my mother told me that a very nice Australian couple had seen Spot and wanted to take him back with them to Australia. I vowed that one day I’d go to Australia to find him…
I sometimes wonder how many ‘dreams’ are created in childhood – from books, songs, or from comments by adults – or am I just the ‘odd’ one!