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Source: Prize Draw!
Scars tell the stories of our lives. Have you ever looked at someone and wondered how they got theirs, but were afraid to ask?
I looked in the bathroom mirror this morning and saw a slight scar and my forehead. It’s hardly visible any more, but I was immediately transported by to my childhood.
It was 1963 and I was standing one side of my garden gate with my best friend on the other side. She was three years older at 7, and should have known better, I heard my dad say later. We were arguing and she threw a stone at me, and naturally I retaliated, but hers found its home on my forehead, breaking the skin. I screamed and she ran away.
My only other memory of the incident is sitting with my mum in the front seat of the car as dad drove us to the hospital. I can still see myself perched on the seat between mum’s legs, finger tips on the dashboard staring out of the front window and feeling excited that I was going to hospital. Pity I can’t remember anymore, because I’m sure I wasn’t excited by the time I left.
The next scar I have is on the base of my thumb. This was slightly earlier, I was possibly about 3, and only remember because we lived in a different house. My mum was at the shops and my dad was on the toilet – of all things to remember! I had decided to play with milk bottles and one of them smashed cutting me.
On the right side of my neck I have a large scar with several stitches which again has faded over the years. I was about 2 or 3 when I had a major operation.
I was born in 1958 when there was no such thing as pregnancy scans. Nobody knew until the baby was born that it could be coming out feet first.
My poor mother was having her first child and was in position to give birth, when all of a sudden, someone shouted breach! She said the word echoed down the corridor as it passed from one person to another. Within a few minutes at least a dozen students all gathered round to watch.
No one could know at that as I came into the world, a muscle had ripped in my neck. It healed itself, but was stiff instead of flexible.
Within a few months, mum noticed that I could only turn my head one way and was admitted to The Orthopaedic Hospital in Oswestry, where we were living at the time.
I still have memories of a high sided metal cot and of my Grandma coming to visit bringing me a stuffed penguin, which I loved, but somehow was left there and I never saw it again.
I still recall the ceiling passing by as I lay on my bed being wheeled down to theatre. I have no recollection of being frightened at all by any of this. Too young to understand, perhaps.
Afterwards I was encased in plaster from the top of my legs, up my neck and round my head with my face showing and my arms free.
I do remember sitting at a table trying to drink from a cup. As my head was leaning to one side, it went in my mouth and came out again. Luckily I was given a straw which enabled me to drink.
When eventually the plaster was removed, I had to relearn my walking skills as not having the weight of the plaster to contend with knocked me off balance.
In my 50s I suffered from severe arthritis in both knees, so much so that I could barely walk. Two years apart I had total knee replacements. It changed my life. The only thing to show are two long scars down each one, but as I never have my legs on show, nobody notices.
Over to you, do you have any scars with a story?
If you have read my book The Secret, this is the area it was set in.
Withington in Manchester is a place that I lived in from 1968 until 1976, so I knew the area well. I wanted Kerry and Tommy to be in a place I knew so that I could describe and imagine it as I wrote. If you get the opportunity to walk down the same streets, it brings the book alive.
There are four roads in Withington that run parallel with each other; Hatherley Road, Brooklea Road, Ashdene Road and Fairholme Road. Cutting through middle of these roads School Grove. This area is Kerry’s world and where she frequently walks, just as I once did.
Ladybarn Park is in the middle Parrsword Road, Parsonage Road and Mauldeth Road. This is where Kerry frequently goes out for a run and it also where she and Tommy have their first row. At one of the entrances to the park, Parsonage Road and Parrswood Road…
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We have had a new restaurant opened here in Stretford, Manchester and it’s right on the main road opposite the shopping mall. Prime position for passing motorists as well as shoppers. It came in kit form and they had it built and opened within a few short weeks.
I visited on the second day of opening, with my daughter and grandson, and there were slightly more staff that customers. They were extremely friendly and welcoming and we were guided to the new pre-pay machines, the only ones in this area, we were told. At the end of our selection we were given a number, Argos style, and we went over to the counter to collect. our food.
As I waited for mine, there was a manager overseeing the assistants. One of them was waiting for the drink to be put on the tray.
“Go and greet the customer,” I heard…
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