Scarf Magic

My grandmother never went out without a headscarf. She had plenty of them, all neatly folded on a shelf in a low cupboard, within easy reach of a child. In other words me. The scarves were mostly chiffon and in rainbow colours. They demanded to be unfolded and swirled in the air like fairy wings. […]

Necklace of Lights

An old-fashioned red London bus takes me back to childhood’s sleepy night-ride home from my grandparents house: sitting between Mum and Dad, bare legs on fuzzy seats, folding concertinas of paper tickets, hypnotised by the perfume of exhaust, rumble of engine, and the window’s black and empty gaze. I believed the stars – obscured by […]

Kindheit

einfache Freuden mit Dreirad im Kreis fahren fallende Blätter Childhood simple pleasures riding round in circles on a tricycle falling leaves Kim M. Russell, 4th October 2018 My response to Carpe Diem #1515 French Haiku (Haiku Francophone) In the latest episode of Carpe Diem’s sixth anniversary month, we’ve arrived at the letter F and a […]

Precarious

Throughout the summer, we would tightrope walk along the length of concrete fence that bordered the reality of blocks of flats with smelly lifts, washing like bunting on balconies and the savoury scent of next-door’s dinner. At any moment, our threadbare plimsolls might slip and we could tip to the other side, where trees were […]

Washing Day

I can still smell soap bubbles in the scullery, steamy clean and floating through my early years; my grandmother’s hands red and hot, tea-towels boiling in the biggest pot as I turned the handle of the wringer, reminded always to ‘Mind your finger!’ I remember sitting on the back step while she raised the line […]

Back to School

In the first week of childhood’s September, going back to school was unreal, when I discovered a new sense of smell: I inhaled new uniform, shoes and plimsolls, and the scent of sharpened pencils in satchels. I breathed stale lost property masked with polish from parquet floors of classrooms and the hall; chalk-free blackboards and […]