Tag Archives: dovercourt essex

Earliest childhood memories and what they indicate….

Having recently celebrated my 74th birthday, I find myself thinking a great deal about my journey through life, starting with my earliest childhood memory.

An atmospheric sketch I made in Brittany France last May – watercolour/gouache69260072_10157477854895396_666887689538109440_oTen years ago I attended an Adlarian Workshop here in the UK.   The whole experience was good, but the one thing that made an impression and has stayed with me since was the Alarian understanding that we can learn about who we are and what our purpose in life is by acknowledging our earliest childhood memory.

A sketch from a balcony in the beautiful village of Saorge, Southeastern France – watercolour/gouche69855152_10157518440245396_6175012092211363840_oIn many ways I am fortunate to have a visual record of my life journey through sketches/ painting and more latterly writing.        Otherwise given that life seems to move so rapidly, I can see how easily it would be for memories to merge together in a bit of a blur.        Being able to look at sketch books over the years reminds me of all sorts of moments that I know might otherwise have disappeared into the ether and been forgotten…

walking the Brecon Monmouthshire Canal…Crikchowell Wales. – watercolour/gouache20200126_111008The story of my earliest childhood memory.

It was 1949 and my Mother and I were living in Dovercourt Essex.    My Father was still in the Royal Navy on an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean.    I can remember being cold (no central heating at that time – only coal fires).     Even at that tender age I knew that my Mother was not happy, and I can understand why.     Even though the war was over….my father was still away and my young mother was on her own with a small child.

rapid watercolour/gouache sketch from Brecon Monmouthshire Canal overlooking Crickhowell 

39887021_10156586330645396_9141085084848226304_nOne day when playing in the garden, I somehow escaped…and made my way into the centre of the little town where I had seen a beautiful and colourful carousel in the window of a cobbler’s shop.

When the cobbler came out to ask me where I lived, I gave him my Grandmother’s address in Kent…..Meanwhile, my poor Mother was frantic and the police had been alerted.

Dovercourt is a seaside town and where we lived was minutes away from the sea, sometimes a very rough sea…..causing much concern.

Seas and rocks….watercolour/goauche. 20200126_143102When I looked at this incident which was one of my clearest and earliest childhood memories I recognised that Escaping and seeking out the Colourful carousel were indications of my my life story. .

This is the sketch I made during the Adlarian workshop…of the three year old me  in front of the colourful carousel in the Cobbler’s window. 20200126_132619 And just to confirm my ‘escape artist’ tendencies….in this photograph I am wearing my harness and reins…complete with bells:)

til August 10 226

20200114_135504

A Bientôt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of those lightbulb moments…..

Watercolour/gouache sketch from the years I spent hill walking in Wales.   20-11-15 - 1 (35)

Five years ago, I attended an Adlerian Summer School, based on the teachings of Alfred Adler,  Austrian psychotherapist and founder of the School of Individual Psychology (1870-1937).

One of the workshops I signed up for was entitled ‘Earliest Childhood Recollections’.      It was Adler’s theory that if we could pin point our earliest recollection/memory,  we would find clues to what he referred to as our ‘private logic’ – metaphors for an individual’s personal lifestyle.

During the workshop, we were asked to go back to our rooms and make a sketch of our earliest childhood recollection.    This  exercise proved to be most revealing.

Sketch of my earliest childhood recollection.

This image depicts me at three years old standing in front of a cobbler’s shop fascinated by a colourful, miniature carousel displayed in the window.. 

20-11-15 - 1 (48)

When I was three years old, my Mother and I were living in Dovercourt, Essex – a small seaside town.    This was immediately after World War II when my Father was still in the Mediterranean with the the Royal Navy.

Each day as we walked to the beach we passed a cobbler’s  (shoe repair) shop which displayed in its window a brightly coloured miniature carousel.       In a post war Britain, devoid of colour, it was a magical sight for a small child.

3f7f7ffaeeca86ca2d4b3981e27f

 

One day, I escaped from our garden.    Given our close proximity to the sea, police were called and a general search was held.

I had somehow made my way to the cobbler’s shop and was found standing in front of the window transfixed by the colourful carousel.

And so how does this memory express my ‘private logic’ as a metaphor for my personal lifestyle?

Throughout my life, I have escaped from situations where I have felt hemmed in either emotionally or physically.    I have always loved colour, and today as an artist am known for my love of colour……..

watercolour – Welsh landscape

11058354_10153461047815396_7992528887012549626_o

For the first forty years of my life, I was a square peg desperately trying to fit into round holes.    It was very painful causing me high levels of stress and anxiety.

At forty, I experienced a major turning point, which was when I stopped being all things for all people and became true to myself.   With that came freedom.    To coin the late Joseph Campbell’s words – it was when I began to ‘follow my bliss’.

watercolour/gouache – Welsh landscape. 

20-11-15 - 1 (37)

Over the years I have met many people who are struggling with what it is they want to do in life.    Often guided by teachers, family, society or circumstances towards careers and lifestyles that don’t fit with who they really are,  their lives  are often filled with an underlying sense of frustration.

Learning about Adler’s theory was a ‘lightbulb’ moment for me and has given much food for thought.        I am sure it might help others to see more clearly what their own ‘private logic’ is and consequently the lifestyle best suited for them.        Regardless, it’s a fascinating exercise.

As always, I leave you with a colourful, magical hummingbird flying free with Mother Nature.     Have a creative and peaceful weekend and week ahead.

P1140525

 

A Bientôt