Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Memories are made of this 3

Throughout her career as a dancer, Amelia’s mother had kept a scrapbook. Amelia used to leaf through it as a girl, retracing endless tours in working men’s clubs, on cruise ships and overseas military establishments, the occasional foray into variety shows and sporadic appearances on regional television. Amelia’s mother appeared in many guises and various ensembles. As well as a jobbing chorus girl, she had been a founder member of the Go-Goettes, and of their successors Rhythm!. She stared out from ancient Variety Showcall listings, dressed in ball gowns, mini-skirts, slashed tango outfits, fishnets and plumes, veils and harem pants, and even an approximated Pocahontas costume. Her smile remained the same throughout, sparkling and somewhat desperate, as she beamed out across the years.

Then she had married Amelia’s father, and that particular show was over. On occasion when Amelia was very young, her mother would take the scrapbook out and they would go through it together, commenting on the frocks or the funny names of other entertainers. Amelia’s mother would summon up memories of Yorkshire digs, dashing young soldiers in Aden, or storms on the Bay of Biscay during her bolero number. Eventually though, the scrapbook was left in Amelia’s bedroom cupboard and Amelia turned its pages alone.

Which made it all the more painful when, years later, Amelia discovered on completing yet one more house move with her own family, that the crate containing her childhood mementoes had been lost.

She drove to her mother’s sheltered accommodation in tears

“Mum, I’m so sorry!” she confessed, distraught. “Your scrapbook’s been lost in the move.”

“Don’t be so daft!” her mother laughed gaily. She pulled off one her slippers, stretched out a battered and calloused foot, and wiggled her damaged dancer’s toes. “I’ve got these to remind me of all that.”


No One In Particular said...

Ah, yes...the memories the body holds are no patch on the mind's.

Barbu said...

mammaries are made of this.