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A Shout From The Attic: My Visit To Asia

When he was a very young lad Ronnie Bray visited Asia. Or could it have been...no, surely not Heysham!

For many more chapters of Ronnie's lively autobiographical words please click on A Shout From The Attic in the menu on this page.

Although the sense of direction I enjoyed in my childhood relative to the compass proper was under-developed (in fact it was criminally derelict), I could usually find my way out of any strange place into which I had insouciantly wandered, as those habitually preoccupied with their phantasmagorical inner worlds are wont to do. I did not knowingly go into places that that lay outside familiar terrain because my world had well defined boundaries and I knew I had reached one of these when the alarm siren in the pit of my stomach churned to signal that I had entered into territory that was almost certainly detrimental to my welfare.

My visit to Asia as a child in arms was spoken of frequently, in my early childhood, although it faded from the menu of topics when I was about seven. Yet, as the significance of Asia grew in my schooldays, it became more of a marvel, that such an undeserving case as I should even step foot on the mysterious continent. The marvel faded when I was eleven or so and I was informed that the destination of a holiday too distant to be recorded in my own memory was to the seaside town of Heysham in Lancashire and that the distant exotic parts of the world had not thrilled to my presence. Ho hum!

My earliest perambulations were into town in company with mother, René, and our huge round brown shopping basket that could fit half a dozen two pound loaves or a small boy who liked to curl up in safe places. Sadly, like all infant sizing, the older I grew the smaller the basket appeared so that my strong memory of climbing inside it seemed in adolescence to be mere wish fulfilment, like living in a doll’s house. But in such fellowship as my mother and sister began the expansion of my confined setting as from the safety of the end of mother’s arm I explored the world about me, slowly pushing outwards the limits of my circumscribed bubble.

When I was too young to walk, we caught the bus at the stop outside the triangular house where Fitzwilliam Street Joined into Trinity Street where my teacher Mr Llewellyn lived in his later years. We always arrived at the stop in good time and that meant a short wait.

My natural impatience at waiting was broken somewhat by pressing an ear against the hollow steel green-painted pole that, in company with similar of its fellows placed at regular intervals both sides of the road, held the rigging for the trolley bus wires and listening for the loudening swish of the ducks on the copper line that told of the vehicle’s approach before it became visible: a trick I learned from the Indians, or would have done, had I known any.

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