Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Where Life Leads.

I was trying to think of a word to rhyme with ‘Zoe’ tonight (and not getting very far) when I recalled that I had my first doughnut at the age of 6. We were on holiday in Southsea, a popular resort in Hampshire on the south coast.

The B&B we were staying in was a large Victorian house, and it was run by an Indian woman who wore a sari and had a red spot on her forehead. That sort of thing was unfamiliar to me at the time, and the red spot brought the term ‘evil eye’ into my mind.

The door to my bedroom had an uncovered keyhole through which the light from the landing could be seen when the room was in darkness. The first night there I watched it for a while and became gradually more convinced that it wasn’t a keyhole at all, but an eye. The term ‘evil eye’ cropped up again. I became nervous when it blinked.

Come to think of it, that was probably the first time I had Coca Cola, too. It became a special treat every holiday thereafter, and assumed identification with summer days, snorkling in the sea, watching ships passing the headland, and a general sense of freedom. Today's kids take it for granted, and I'm not sure we're doing them any favours.

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