DO you remember learning to read ? I can’t say that I do. If I were to pick my favourite pursuit it would be reading.  I don’t remember any books at home, as starting school approached I looked forward to it. This was a time of scarcities in the 1940s, my father was called away to be a soldier and mother was left to take care of two little girls on her own. We lived in three upstairs rooms in a terraced street in a very respectable area. The school was on the opposite side of the road, easily visible from our living room window. A main road of shops was just five minutes away and a library was a tram ride away or on a fine day within walking distance.

   I enjoyed school, although a somewhat timid child, I soon settled into the routine, perhaps the fact that I was just a few minutes from home helped. The thing that stand out in my memory is the instruments with which to make music; drums, castanets, tambourines and triangles. A big chart was pinned up on the blackboard covered in blue, red, yellow and green notes.  My notes were in blue, my instrument was the triangle. My attention was focused on the musical notes and the teacher. I concentrated very hard on striking my triangle at the right time. This was the very first time I realised that I could produce music, I was captivated. Sadly as a musician I reached my peak in those very early days, at the time it was wonderful.

   Strangely enough I remember almost nothing about learning to read, happily I now read every day and I can’t imagine how narrow life would be without it. I read newspapers, the Radio Times, instructions on packets, lists of programmes on TV, I order on line, check my bank account, my emails and last but not least put my thoughts into words on my word-press account. I even read some of the rubbish that comes through the letter-box. Every day I am grateful to those teachers who somehow explained the mysteries of letters and words and gave me the key to making sense of the world in which I live and lots of fun and pleasure along the way.


6 thoughts on “READING.

  1. What lovely memories! I remember striking the old triangle too. I don’t remember exactly learning to read, but I do remember learning how to pronounce some words – like ‘anxiety’ (which I pronounced ‘anxiousty’ until my mother corrected me) and ‘picturesque’ where I said ‘picturescue’!

  2. Dear Auntie Charlotte taught me to read when I was about three/four years of age. I would sit next to her and I noticed that a lot of the words made no sense. After that I knew I must finish the piano piece of that particular day but did not always enjoy it. I began to realize how very lucky I was to have Uncle and Aunty in the house, although they were with us because of a bomb that suddenly came out from the skies and chose their lovely home to ruin. They never went back to Salisbury to live, although we would take the bus once in a while just to walk around the Salisbury shops which were beginning to open up again. How wonderful for all the happy children who played up and down our streets. No cars ever came for years! That lovely street was just for us to play there! At the bottom of this street there was a small Convenient Store. I would often be asked to go down and tell the young lady what I had to take home. She was young and came over with a large family from Ireland. She never got married and she worked there for years and years. She still lives in the same house on the other side of the house we lived in. She is now almost one hundred years old. Wish I could go home and see her for she was very kind with we children.

    1. WHAT a wonderful story. I too remember a bomb which crashed into the house we were living in, fortunately no-one was hurt. We stayed with a relative for awhile, lots of us crowded into the same house. Your Auntie Charlotte sounds a very sweet person, an adult who has time for children is a very special person. My mother found some rooms directly facing a school, in September 1943 I started school, I loved it.

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