Memories – the First Thing I Knew

As a child we lived at 163 Drury Lane in London. Drury Lane is today a fashionable cool road, but when I was a bay it was a road filled with tenement buildings, small shops, cheap restaurants with a theatre at each end. Drury Lane was the home of the muffin man and was also my home. My home was one room. My cot was near the window; my sisters’ cots were close by and my parents slept on a bed settee. Standing on my cot I could see out of the window and the first thing that I can remember seeing was the greengrocer’s shop on the other side of the road, several stories down. Outside the shop was an open lorry and on the lorry a young man was unloading wooden boxes of cherries, which he was delivering to the shop.

The young man picked out a cherry from one of the boxes, as he stood on the back of the lorry. He tossed the cherry high into the air, caught it in his mouth and ate it.
That is my earliest memory, I think, but cannot be sure. Memories are unreliable witnesses.

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