The exchanges with sister Diane below show how partial memory is; there was once a Labrador in our family, which I do remember, but I don’t remember its sex, nor that it had a litter (of one, apparently) nor do I recall, as Mum told me on the phone last week, that I gave the puppy away to, ‘someone you liked in the pub, duck, someone you thought would look after it.’
I’ve been thinking about it a lot, because nearly all my early work in writing was mined out of memories of Stoke-on-Trent, and whereas before I thought that these were accurate recollections, now I wonder what I missed and what I mussed.
I was thinking about Mum’s record collection today, specifically I was thinking about an Everly Brothers album she had and how I used to ask her about the lyrics, Why is he Cathy’s Clown? Why does Little Suzy have to wake up? Why does he do his Crying in the Rain? I used to stack singles and play them on something like, but not exactly like, the machine below (one with a taller spindle, for a start). The two Everly Brothers were not singles, they were an album; in the close-up shot on the sleeve they were hyper-real with plastic hair and in supersaturated colour like the pictures in Dogs, Dogs, Dogs… They seemed to be related to Scott and Virgil out of Thunderbirds Are Go! as I used to think it was called.