I'm feeling towards the sad end of the melancholy scale - a state induced by having indulged my curiousity on Google Streetview. Me and everyone else in the country no doubt.
The first visit was to my home for my first eight years, a bungalow perched high on a hill at the back of Swansea with views encompassing much of Swansea bay, the biggest natural bay outside of Naples... or something like that. The bungalow now has an attic extension and has been modernized, the garden looks really quite good, someone obviously cares about it, they even have a greenhouse!
Gone is the ridiculous rockery plonked to one end of the front garden like a tiny, dormant volcano. I used to sit at the top of it. I've always loved rockeries and have a tiny one now but it's not a stand alone. Gone is the privet hedge that we made dens in and which gave my father such dreadful hayfever. Perhaps the garden waste heap at the apex of the back lawn, which I used to roll on and inhale the summer smell of grass cuttings, has also gone.
The garage is still there and I remember the easy climb onto it's roof from the slope of the back garden and me and my brother dropping stones onto next door neighbours terracotta pots!! He was an annoying man who regularly complained to my father about us calling him Trixie (his name was Mr. Trick) but Trixie was just the name of our cat which obviously we screeched all the time. He had a small daughter who I wasn't keen on either. One day she asked to play with a doll I had which had a green foam dress - I said no she would destroy it. My father, lounging in his deckchair outside the front of the bungalow, said "Don't be so mean, let her play with your doll". I handed it over and she destroyed it!
It must be the same front wall my brother and I sat on selling to the passing neighbours "scent" that we had made in a bucket out of hot water and flowers. The flowers were no doubt stolen from their own gardens, or maybe bluebells from the nearby woods. But whether they knew the provenance of the scent or not the kindly Welsh neighbours clearly loved children enough to indulge them and small coins would be handed to us in return for a bottle.
So many memories and my eyes have now filled with too many nostalgic tears to go on - and I haven't even started on the wine yet!
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