I have an embarrassingly poor memory. I’m terrible at recalling facts, figures and faces. It’s only got worse as I’ve got older, to the point that I now write almost everything down so I always have something to refer to whenever my brain lets me down.
This goes for my childhood memories, too. I’m not someone who has a specific first memory. I can’t easily remember the names of my schoolmates. And no, Dad, I don’t remember the time a pigeon flew into the car when we were on holiday in France!
(As for my first dog’s name: Amy, lovely Amy. She’ll always have a special memory cell reserved just for her.)
That said, I do have the odd dusty recollection lurking in the deepest darkest recesses of the old hippocampus. Sadly the majority are elusive and opaque, as if being viewed through frosted glass.
It’s often the most seemingly inane moments that do become bonafide, trustworthy recollections. And here is one such distinct memory from my childhood.
My relief here was threefold. Firstly, I was delighted to see a loving face. Secondly, I was very touched she had brought me something. And lastly, I was excited to have something to alleviate the intense mix of boredom and itching.
I was an avid reader of the Beano, not just the comic but also the annuals and I also fondly remember the TV show (which, I have just discovered, had a very impressive cast of guest actors).
And I distinctly remember spending a lazy morning on that sofa in Suffolk, scratching myself with one hand and flicking through the comic from cover-to-cover with the other.
Granted, it’s not the greatest story ever told. But given that I have so few concrete memories from childhood, it is a scene that still comes to my mind regularly 26 years later. I’m sure you’ll have your own memories and associations that stick around for years and decades, even though on the face of it they seem fairly inconsequential.
This memory is one of the reasons I was so very excited to get to work on a new joint project with the guys at the Beano. It’s a comic that has played a major part in the formative years of so many young people, a reference point for millions upon millions of childhood moments.
It makes the perfect gift for anyone who grew up with the Beano. And with Father’s Day just around the corner, what better way to celebrate all the mischievous dads out there.
It’s filled with light-hearted words of advice that represent the little bit of Dennis magic in all adults and is sure to be a real nostalgia trip for all those people who, like me, have grown up but haven’t yet grown old.
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