In the big looking glass, I see a thin, lanky seven-year-old, I am wearing my new school clothes, short trousers that are too long and boots that are too big. Mum always buys our clothes on the big side so that we grow into them. I am not happy with what I see.
“Who is going to look at you Alan”?
My mother says the words in a kindly way, hoping to dispel my fear of ‘standing out’. Unknowingly, it has the reverse effect, it makes me think that I am not worth a first, let alone a second look. I would remember these words for the rest of my life and always be on the edge of the stage just looking in—That is, until I discovered writing.
After I retired, my daughter in law Edi, helped me to join a writing group. A month later I am on the stage of ‘The Green Room’, reading my first story to an audience, and making them laugh. When I left the stage, a man said. “That was out standing”. Now I can’t stop!
‘Made in Chertsey’ is a fictionalised account based on true events and the people in them. Of course, all of these events have a seed of truth in them. Some of these seeds will germinate and flower naturally, others will need the fertiliser of my imagination—before you ask, this fertiliser is non-organic.
A few seeds fell on the wayside of my memory and were forgotten until another story that is well remembered brings them back to life. The human brain is astonishing.