Sometimes our memories play tricks on us and they are definitely selective.
This next memory is one that I have always cherished.
They say that men do not discuss their feelings and the reason is that some things simply cannot be put into words.
Much of this memory falls into that category but I will attempt to give you at least the visual part.
It starts with what I will call a memory cameo.
A picture of a beautiful 15 year old young lady with blond hair, blue eyes and a shy smile standing on the other side of a dance floor. She is dressed in a grey blue dress buttoned all the way down the front with shirt type pockets. It looks sort of western and I know it was not bought locally.
It turned out she was from Canada.
This was at our church dance club that I helped to run every Wednesday night and the rest of the night is hazy but I do remember asking the young lady if I could walk her home.
There could not have been two people less alike in all the world but they do say opposites attract. I was a serious, logical thinking rather boring person and she was a very free thinking, outgoing wood nymph.
We found it very easy to talk to each other on the way home but suddenly as we were passing the fire station she ran up to the door, rang the bell and took off around the corner leaving me with no option but to run after her. This was something I would not have done in a thousand years but somehow when she did it I felt myself becoming less boring.
She afterwards confided in me that had she known that door belonged to the fire station she would have picked a different one.
We arrived at her door and I was just plucking up the courage to kiss her when the door swung open and a hand dragged her inside slamming the door in my face. I hadn't even managed to arrange to see her again and since no one in this town owned phones I was left hoping she would turn up next Wednesday.
On Sunday I had come to the end of my tether not being able to concentrate on much else all week and I set out towards her house without a plan. I suppose I had in mind to knock on the door and ask the dragon lady if I could see her daughter but I am not sure I would have done it.
I need not have worried. Apparently she had left her house at the same time as me hoping we might meet and suddenly we were together.
We began walking along a sunlit, tree-lined street. It was a beautiful bright, warm day and we just walked and talked until the road took a turn and I realised we had walked about 2 ½ miles and were completely out of town. With her holding my hand time meant nothing and I suggested we carry on across the fields.
That was when we met the horse. My experience with animals ran to a budgy and some chickens my dad kept on an allotment.
Had I been alone this horse would have either ignored me or moved off but I watched as it pricked up its ears and wandered over to the fence where my wood nymph stroked it and fed it grass from our side. I couldn't get over the size of those teeth and the fact that I saw no fear at them coming so close to her fingers.
As we continued our walk we had now turned and were following a footpath through farmer's fields and beautiful meadows. At one point we came to a farm yard that we must cross and it was very muddy. Naturally I thought we should turn around and go back but instead she suggested that I carry her across the mud. Once more I was tugged a little more away from boring and I carried this beautiful creature to dry land at the other side.
Shortly after this we turned and walked through the wheat fields toward the coast. I remember the clear blue sky and skylarks singing their continuous song far up and out of sight. I remember climbing styles and going through gates but most of all I remember us talking about anything and everything.
Finally we passed a picturesque church and found ourselves on the sand dunes next to the sea. Walking hand in hand we followed the dunes to the edge of town where she stopped to straighten her hair and we slowly walked the rest of the way to her home.
When I said at the beginning that memories sometimes play tricks this is what I meant.
Although this whole thing happened exactly as I have told you and it has always been a very strong memory for me, intellectually I realise that a few things don't make sense.
A beautiful, bright, warm day at that time of year in N.E. England would be in the Guinness book. You only need look at the clothes we were wearing to see the conflict in that statement.
The beautiful tree lined street passed two coal pits and as far as I know only had trees for about 30 feet of the 2 ½ miles.
The area with the farmer's fields and beautiful meadows had at least two very large and very ugly pit heaps.
When walking through the sand dunes at that time of year we would have been subjected to high winds with sand blowing in our faces and as far as a beautiful blue sky – it is possible but very unlikely although the skylarks do love it when the sky is clear.