My life really isn’t that exciting. I don’t do much, I don’t see much, I don’t really do anything at all. The only thing interesting I can say about me is the fact that I moved from one end of the country to the other. From South London to the North-East of England, when I had just turned nine.
My mum, dad, sister and I had made the trip up country numerous times. Venturing anywhere between 4 and 9-hour car journeys, to see my dad’s family, who live in the north-east, in a place called Hartlepool. Visiting there for 1 to 2 weeks at a time, 1 to 2 times out of the year was all I needed.
Even at the age of eight I knew I preferred the busyness of southern life. I preferred the large groups of people, who would walk past you not even knowing your existence. But now, here, in the friendly north-east, everybody talks to you. Whether you want them to, whether you know them, or not.
The first time I rode on a bus, I was 12, with my Nan (my father’s mum) she knew everybody, she even knew the bus driver. Unfortunately, this meant everybody on that bus knew her, and therefore, everybody on the bus wanted to talk to her. But for southern-bred, anxiety riddled preteen, this was the worst thing imaginable.
This happened a lot when we used to go out with her and my grandfather (my father’s parents). I even remember that, when I was around 5, we went on holiday with my them to Turkey, I believe. And even then, we found around about five people that my grandmother new!
When parents told me that we were moving to the partially familiar land of the north, I remember feeling uneasy. I had to leave the school I was currently at, as we thought the people buying the house were going to move in fairly quickly. However, to my mother’s disappointment the move fell through, I remember her being on the phone when she got the call. She nearly passed out. So, for the next 2 to 3 months I had to go to the dreaded state school nearest my house. This was a place of ruin, the first mixed sex school I had been to, and I was continuously tortured for being tall. There is one child I remember mostly. His name was Miles. Everybody thought he was a bit weird, because, when we’d sit on the mat and listen to our teacher, he would sit behind the chosen person of the day and pull out individual threads of our hair from the back of our heads… and then play with it.
Yeah, I remember him, I didn’t really like him that much.
I detested the time I spent at that school so much. So much so, I remember it going on for months and months, however my mum tells me now that I was only there for about two or three. When we finally found somebody to buy the house, and my mum and dad was sick of being pulled into the Headmistresses office; because I was getting in trouble for being the victim of abuse from other class mates (which made no sense). My parents decided to pull me out of the devil’s primary school and my mum, who was a teacher, would home-school me, for the last month or few weeks of our time down south. I don’t remember much in between then and the day we moved.
I remember a lot of boxes, a lot of arguments from my parents, about where the china bowls and plates and mine and my sister’s toys would go. I remember having to hold the ladder still for my dad, whilst he climbed into the attic and threw down bin bags full of whatever junk my mum had bought off eBay, those 8 years of us living there. And finally, I remember sitting in the back of the car, it was a hot day. It was around April time if I remember correctly, as I had started my new school just after the Easter holidays. The car had leather seats, it was very hot in there. I remember it smelling really weird because of the heat coming from those seats. Like some form of melting plastic. Even thinking back to it makes me feel a bit sick.
My sister who would been about 4 at the time, screaming continuously during the 5 to 6-hour journey. The only thing that would get her to stop would be one of my parent’s hands in the shape of, what people would class as a puppet, and she would rest her head on it, hugging it between her shoulder and ear. This creation was known as “Handy.” Very original name. Very uncomfortable for whichever parent would have to lurch their arm through the back of the car and have it rest there until she fell asleep. But I guess that was better than having her screaming the roof down for hours on end.
I think we stayed at my Nan’s house for a little bit before we eventually moved into a house in Middlesbrough. It was a big house. By far the biggest that we’ve been in since we’ve moved up here. We all loved it. It had an acre and a half garden, and orchard, strawberries that grew on the patio stairs that led up into the orchard. A massive games room that came equipped with a full-size snooker table, a large swirling staircase, many bedrooms, enough to make to into a play room for me and my sister. Four bathrooms and an en-suite in my parent’s bedroom, they also had a balcony. My mum recently told me that if had stayed in the house, she probably would’ve given me her room and she would’ve taken mine. I remember my room being absolutely massive, looking out onto the back garden. However, it probably wasn’t that big as I was only a child at the time.
One of my main memories from that house was when my sister was around five or six. It was the day before picture day at school. She had long, thick, dark brown hair that curled down really nicely. My mum had decided to trim her fringe, just to make it look presentable for the photographs. However, I don’t think my sister liked it, as she decided to take scissors to it and chop off her fringe to only a millimetre or two. I remember the little tufts sprouting from her forehead. As well as this, she decided to cut whatever she could reach at the front of the hair, off to about shoulder length. Well, the forgotten her at the back stayed in tacked, curling all the way down to her coccyx. I remember her coming into my bedroom to ask me if I liked her new haircut. I also remember my surprise when I saw her idiotic face that night. I knew she couldn’t have done it so I asked her “did you cut your hair?” she said “no mum did it.” I called her a liar and we shouted at each other for a bit. She went back into her room, and I, wondering what had happened, ventured downstairs into the living room at 11:30 at night, to see my parents sat on the sofa watching TV. I asked my mum “did you cut Maddison’s hair?” And I remember my surprise at that moment when my mum said, “yes.” This left for minute being a bit confused. So, I asked her “well why did you cut it that short?” to which my mother replied, “what do you mean?”
I didn’t even get to reply to that before she ran upstairs into Maddy’s room. The second later my dad and I had a shout from upstairs. We both run upstairs into the bedroom and saw my mum sitting on the bed, crying, my sister standing in the middle of the room looking terrified, and masses of thick brown curls sitting on top of the Wicca bin. Easy to say my mum was fuming.
But we laugh at it now.
The information on memoirs on Wikipedia explains the history of the memoir.
Memoirs have been documented through history since ancient times, one of the earliest is said to be written by Julius Caesar. His first and second, documents the various battles he fought in, fighting in the Gallic War and the civil war against Gnaeus, Pompeius and the Senate. Also, Libanius, a teacher of rhetoric who was alive in 300AD, used his life memoir as one of his literary speeches, which were written to be spoken in the privacy of his own study and home. These types of memoirs refer to the idea in ancient Greece and Rome, that memoirs were similar to pieces of unpublished documents, which the writer could use as a help finishing another piece of writing in the future.
The site also states that during the last half “of the 18th through the mid-20th century, memoirists generally included those who were noted within their chosen profession. These authors wrote as a way to record and publish their own account of their public exploits. Authors included politicians or people in court society and were later joined by military leaders and businessmen. An exception to these models is Henry David Thoreau’s 1854 memoir Walden, which presents his experiences over the course of two years in a cabin he built near Walden Pond.
Twentieth-century war memoirs became a genre of their own, including, from the First World War, Ernst Jünger (Storm of Steel) and Frederic Manning’s Her Privates We. Memoirs documenting incarceration by Nazi Germany during the war include Primo Levi’s If This Is a Man, which covers his arrest as a member of the Italian Resistance Movement, followed by his life as a prisoner in Auschwitz; and Elie Wiesel’s Night, which is based on his life prior to and during his time in the Auschwitz, Buna Werke, and Buchenwald concentration camps.”
Initially, I found writing my memoir difficult as attempting to remember an interesting moment in my life to report on, proved very hard. I could not think of any major memory in which I could tell a story about. However, I was able to recollect more interesting memories around one big life changing factor; my family moving across the country.
I had found a web page which linked to some people’s memoir articles, http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/keyword/memoir, in these, the writing style of most writers was more informal, as it is a personal life moment being shared. The texts that were written more informally were usually discussing happy or funny times in the writer’s lives, those who did not write about positive memories took a more formal approach.
For my memoir are used an informal style. As my memoir included stories that I find a museum now. However, I do mention One negative experience that I had however I did not want to mention it in a negative way I wanted to write it still in an informal style to fit with the rest of the text. I did not want one specific situation to bring the tone of the whole text down.
When writing I did not stick to just one story. I have used my family’s move has a fixed point to talk around, attaching various other tales of my childhood, which I believe brought humour to the text as a whole. When writing I did not only just talk about myself but included family members and people I have met, in the situations that I have talked about, and detailed descriptions of old settings I remember. I had involved these to allow the text to really show personal experience and try and add a sense of realism.