Tag Archives: ghosts

We Must Treasure the Good Times……..

Today I took my little mam to the pictures.  She loves going to the pictures.  Normally it is a scary movie we go to watch.  Today was no different.  She loves scary movies, although she often complains that they are not scary enough.  Time is running out, she’s 88, well 87 actually.  Her birthday is in 3 weeks time and then she’ll officially be 88.  We got there at one pm, the film was due to start at quarter past.  They hadn’t even opened up.  I don’t know how these places make any money.  Oh yes I do.  Nearly 20 pounds it cost, for an adult and senior citizen ticket, one small diet coke and a cuppa.  Yes that’s how they make their money.  I remember the days when………..  well you get my drift.

My mam walks with a stick so I have to get her seated and then go back for the refreshments.  She hates climbing the stairs to get to a seat but she doesn’t like to sit too close to the screen so up we go, my little mam hanging onto my arm and using her stick to help her up.  She chooses where we sit even though our tickets said we were to sit elsewhere.  I told the man when he asked which seats we wanted that we’d sit wherever my little mam decided to sit regardless.  He laughed.  Not sure I like this new practice of asking people where they want to sit.  The film seemed to take ages to start and then eventually we were off.  The sound is so intense sometimes but why of why does my mam insist on talking loudly during the quiet scenes.  Yes its embarrassing, but haven’t our parents embarrassed us all out lives.  When the film finished we waited until everyone had gone and then slowly made our way down from the gods, back to terra firma.  And we followed the same routine, stopping off at pizza hut on the way back to the car so my mam can take a pizza home for her tea.  Its little things like this that I will remember with fondness, and maybe shed a tear or two, when the inevitable happens.  My mam doesn’t understand why I want to take photos of her.  But I do, she’s my mam, and these are my memories.

movie day three

movie day two

movie day

Where Grandad Lost His Leg

low winter sun

So we were walking up The Line. It’s the name we’ve always used for the waggonway, the steep incline that used to haul coal skips from the Rainton pits to the docks. And she said:

“this is where my Grandad lost his leg. And his arm.”

Someone’s phone was ringing and it was urgent so we stopped, breathing hard in the thin frosty air, and as we stood in the blinding low sunlight, considered whether the tale of Grandad’s horrible injury needed a phonecall-free space to be properly told.

“He was wheeling his bike up from The Blast all laden with coal, and the wires, the heavy cables of the waggon pulleys twanged and caught him down one side, slicing off one arm and one leg like a cheese wire. It’s not clear quite how this happened because he’d made this trip up from the shore many, many times and knew it in the dark. It took him the whole afternoon and evening to crawl up to the Dawdon Hotel, shouting all the way. Nobody on Cottages Row heard him until he was just outside the hotel bar.”

He was in hospital for months, but he did survive.

Some events remain embedded in the place as memories, but maybe also of imprints, of blood soaked grass, of living dna smeared all along the path. He’s still here somewhere.