Wednesday, September 12, 2007


One evening, just before my seventh birthday, I couldn't find Mummy anywhere. Then I saw her, through a crack in the garage door, painting a small bike crimson. I know it will be for me - my first bike.

Once the trainer wheels were off, I could go adventuring anywhere, all about, to see the world...
"Hey, Girlie!"
What's happening here? I never forget to pull up my pants! Haven't their mothers taught them anything? I always just cycle quickly away and of course, I don't tell. It would probably be me that gets in trouble. I think it's something to do with girls having to keep their legs together when they sit.
Blogger protocol seems to require that I black the 'essentials' out. I'd rather do that than change the composition as these are the pictures that fall from my memory onto the page. I want to include this image as it seems such an intrinsic part of small town life in the days when children were allowed to roam free.

18 comments:

Hashi said...

Wonderful, as always!

Julie Oakley said...

Yes absolutely fantastic. I love the last picture. That guilt as a child was awful. When I was flashed at again in my late twenties on a train journey, my anger (for all the previous occasions) spilled over, I slapped the flasher repeatedly round the face and he was so frightened of me he tried to leap off the still moving train thinking it was stopping. When he realised it wasn't he begged to be let back onto the train, so I let him on and lectured him all the way to our final destination. I hope I didn't turn him into something even worse!

Jan said...

Fantastic Alison, yes, as usual! I love the last one too. I must have lived a very sheltered life, or maybe I was completely submerged in my own world as a child. I do remember the bike scenario vividly though!

shirley said...

Yeah Alison! You're on Superblog! Now I won't miss your wonderful memory entries when you post them. Great work as usual.
Shirley

Tami said...

Perfectly done, again! The movement of the memory is amazing, form the "peeking" in on the painting of the bike to the freedom to the flashers...I remember that guilt and the anger at not being born a boy; in my mind they never had to worry about guilt and could go anywhere they wanted...I think it takes a lot of courage to include the "ugly parts of life" along with the good and funny...

Carole said...

I do love the angles that you choose for your paintings. I like this narrative too - from peeking in at your bike, to riding it (seen from your viewpoint riding the bike; I love that!), to those horrible men. I'm glad you included it, as it was the other side of the coin of that freedom. I'm pleased to say I was lucky enough never to experience flashers as a child, and it shocks me to hear that it was (is?) part of life for many children.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

So memories are not always charming. Yes, bikes are wonderful and we all rode bikes to high school. I broke my leg one time falling from my brother's bike! But that experience of seeing that awful man and how a child is made to become secretive and ashamed somehow. An important memory to add to the collection.
w.

Penny said...

Wonderful as usual Alison, I was also allowed my freedom on a bike once the chores were done, but I never saw what you did, although I will never ever forget my total embarrasment when I got the wheel of my bike caught in the tram line and I had just started my period and was trying to race home and the tram driver stopped and thought I had hurt myself. Poor man.
Looking foreward to October.

Claudia said...

Alison, wonderful work again!-I will start with my memory paintings in some days from now on and I wanted to tell you that I would like to put a link to your blog on mine, if you have nothing against it. Please, let me know.
Kind regards,
Claudia

Jana Bouc said...

I love the drawings and even more your courage and honesty for posting the last one and the smart way you dealt with blogging it. I don't think I ever saw a flasher as a kid but we did have a peeping tom who finally got caught watching my little sister and I sleep by standing on boxes under our bedroom window with a flashlight. A girlfriend sleeping over woke up and saw him looking in. I guess he'd been doing it awhile. He was a high school boy and the family moved away shortly afterwards. Scary! And that you saw three different flashers when you were a little girl even scarier!

Alison said...

Well, this batch of memory paintings has elicited some interesting memories. Good on you for your actions Julie - I wonder what memories HE has? That 'female' guilt is such an undermining feature of some girls' childhoods.
Thank you everyone, for your comments and support.

caseytoussaint said...

I'm so glad you stopped by my blog to remind me to come by and have a look - these are so interesting, and so well executed.

Meinhild Selbach said...

Alison, wonderful work and idea.
Thanks also for leaving a comment on my blog (a while ago). I'm just catching up saying thanks and putting a link to your blog on mine.
Greetings from France
Meinhild

Claudia said...

Hello Alison,
thank you for your comment! You received the "Creative Blogger Award" from me! Please, come to my blog to read your eulogy!
Kind regards from
Claudia!

Africantapestry said...

Great narrative again...yes unfortunately, some memories aren't always nostalgic, but good to have them anyway...
ronell

janey said...

I love the first 2 bike drawings - drawn from your viewpoint. And everyone I know seems to have a memory of being flashed.

mARTa said...

You moved me. I was that little girl on the 'blue' bike who'd soar on her bike with arms up in the air!!! "Look at me, no hands!"
Your post is both uplifting and deep. Thank you for sharing these memories with us...I must stop by more often!

AnastasiaC said...

Hi Alison!
id love to join you at the art gallery but I'll be up at the Gold coast then...maybe next time!
i love the art gallery!