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Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Chronicles of my youth.


For those of you that are, (very politely I may add) taking me to task over starting another story, a little explanation perhaps is in order. Many have requested a continuation of the piece I put together about the Granville and the years of my youth that I spent ballroom dancing there. There have been so many questions, as to the outcome of that Saturday morning, when Mum sent me with my sister to dancing class. The link to that post for those that have not read it is below, just click on it and it should take you to that particular post.


A couple of years ago I started writing for the family, actual chronicles of those times and never thought for one minute they would be of interest, other than to my children and grandchildren, to anyone. But as one kind person so bluntly pointed out to me, “Alan, its our heritage and history of the town you purport to cherish, your chronicles should be available for everyone to read!”
An argument then commenced that continued over the next couple of weeks, myself coming up with different excuses each time, but slowly I began to realise, as the emails mounted up I could be wrong, even though I still consider the chronicles personal in many ways.
To protect the many people mentioned in the original chronicles, with the distinct possibility they, like myself, are still around to by chance read what I have written, I am having to change their names, turning it all into a story, rather than a factual account.
Because of my age I suppose, the memories I have of those times have gaps in, that have been blended with my story telling nature, making it more interesting for my children, but basically it all is how it was.
So be patient, there is a lot of editing to do.
To give you a taste of what took place, I will post today a very small part of one of the chapters, a couple of days before a demonstration, we were about fourteen at the time, my partner and I were presented each with a gift from our dancing teacher, the following is a reaction it created from one of those gifts:
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extract from chapter nine
 
The dress, made from many yards of fine net and lace, had been carefully arranged and laid out on the bed. There wasn’t any colour; it was pure white, transparent; the net that the skirt was made of seemed to reflect a rainbow of hues that the light in the ceiling up above the dress cast down through all the layers, catching her eye as she moved from side to side. Walking round the bed fearing not to touch this beautiful creation, spread out in all its wonder that she had a tantalising glimpse of when walking past the door that was ajar slightly, just a few moments ago. Slowly she sank to her knees to be as close as she could and level enough to smell the freshness of the vision that confronted her.
Her hand was shaking as she carefully reached out to touch the sequins that covered the bottom of the skirt above the fur; there was a compulsive need to satisfy herself she wasn’t dreaming, each tiny stitch seemed to be magnified as her eyes travelled from one part to another trying to absorb what had been so delicately and caringly laid out, without a fold out of place or wrinkle to spoil the perfection that she had often dreamed of wearing.
In those dreams of the past, she had foreseen, in the drifting moments before sleep, the vision of beauty she was now looking at with misty eyes and also touching. Was this beautiful dress really meant for her? Had it really been laid out ready to be worn by her? Shakily rising to view it again from above, her young legs once more took her round the bed, not taking her eyes for one moment off what lay in front of her.
This feeling that was welling up inside she couldn’t come to terms with, her young body was fit to burst with emotion, every part of her was shaking, tears of utter joy started to fall from her young eyes, a little hand that was meant to wipe away the tears, instead, clasped her mouth to prevent a cry that was about to shatter the silence of the room. Still staring and trying to take in the moment, she literally fell into the small armchair missing the seat and falling against the arm, her focus couldn’t be dragged away from what lay on the bed.
She had sat there for what seemed an age, mesmerised, little sobs caught in her throat and her hand came up to join together the other one as if she couldn’t contain her emotion with just one. Staring at what was put there to cover her young body, never expecting to touch, let alone wear or even own such a beautiful dress, the warm excited blood in her veins rushed up her legs, creating goose pimples, and without moving from her seat she could feel the silk-lining caressing her thighs.
As she sat there a completely fresh dimension to her life took on a new meaning, the thrill to dance across a polished floor would bring, she knew, a completely different dimension to everything she lived for, to dance until she dropped with exhaustion. Just to feel the net that was lined with pure silk, not taffeta or cotton, but silk as it brushed up against her skin with her movement to that music, that wonderful, wonderful music. It would take her into that realm of paradise so often promised long ago by her teacher, that one day, one day in the future, her dreams would be fulfilled exceeding anything her young mind could imagine, this, she thought, had to be that day!
She was dizzy and couldn’t think of anything that was missing, the dress, the music, the story of love they were about to demonstrate this coming Saturday, with the partner she had found who thought the same as she did, everything was falling into place, her vision over the years had persisted each night and was finally, at long, long last being realised. Was this all real? She thought, was it a dream?



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