Bite size memoir is designed to help anyone record some personal memoir in small manageable bites. There’s a prompt every week and some constraints to keep it small (with full details at the bottom of this post). To catch up on how it started, please read here. If you have your own blog and want to participate, please feel free to incorporate links to and from your post to encourage readers to blog hop.
This week’s prompt is Sports Day.
I might be taking a risk jumping to something a little more concrete this week after the Magic and Fairy Tales of last week, but taking my cue from the school calendar and remembering how I could run but not jump and a whole host of other things that bubble up when I think of Sports Day. For many of us this will take us right back to our own childhood and for others, more memories of our own children or grandchildren. If we get really lucky we might hear from the odd groundsman or teacher out there with different tales to tell.
In the UK, Sports Day is a summer school event mostly around track and field events – if it means something different to you, please go with whatever the prompt brings you.
As usual I’ve tackled it twice to provide examples but please don’t let my perspective influence what you remember.
I remember Sports Day
I remember four of us carrying long wooden benches to the field we weren’t normally allowed to play in, to sit on while we waited for our turn.
I remember wearing a green sash for the house I was in.
I remember balancing beanbags on our heads, jumping in sacks and three-legged races on bumpy grass.
I remember wooden trestle tables covered in plastic cups of weak orange squash.
I remember watching my egg so it didn’t fall out of the spoon.
I remember Mrs H, stop watch in hand, laughing because I ran 100m hurdles even faster than 100m flat!
I remember being amazed I was rubbish at high jump.
Later, I remember winning the Mum’s beanbag race and being ridiculously proud! (for years..)
I remember a Dad cheating to win by holding his egg with his thumb – that was you Stephen if you’re reading! Detention and disqualification still pending..
I remember it took a while for it to dawn on me how competitive I am because that wasn’t allowed for a long time.
Sports Day – 150 Words Prose
800m and 1500m were my distances. I ‘trained’ well, running around the village going somewhere fast or getting away from someone even faster! Legs Eleven was a nickname for a while.
There was sports day excited chatter on warm summer days. It never rained in those summers. The oval track on a field of grass, looked so inviting, trimmed short of its sunny daisies, with brilliant white painted lines. I still hear the wind in the trees and smell the grass on the breeze.
I hear the starters gun! And round I go, in front again with everything pounding. Exhilarated but hurting and tightening when all of this fades to black and I’m floating down.
Soon after running again – on a treadmill at Great Ormond Street with wires stuck to my chest, feeling humiliated and embarrassed in my vest. Just a kinked aorta I’ll soon grow out of.
What do you remember ?
Here’s how you join in:
A REMINDER OF HOW THE BITE-SIZE MEMOIR CHALLENGE WORKS
1.Each Friday I’ll suggest a topic by 2pm UK time (BST) via my blog and Twitter (using the hashtag #BiteSizeMemoir – You don’t need to be on Twitter to participate.)
2. The challenge will be to write about the topic using
10 x “I remember statements”
150 x words (prose, or poem if you want to stretch yourself)
Either will make you pick and choose your words carefully whilst keeping a tight focus for time’s sake. You might want to write more, to keep at home, but please only submit one option within the limits for sharing (i.e. 10 statements or 150 word prose/poem)
3. The Deadline for sharing your ‘Bite’ will be 2pm (BST) the following Thursday. You can share in either of two ways:
a) Post your response in the comments section of the current topic – I will find it and cut and paste to the compilation of responses. (You may not see your comment appear immediately but don’t worry – I will find and share it)
b) If you have a blog you can post your response on your own blog with a link back to this post, and then also provide the link to me in the comments section. I will then link your contribution back to your post, in the compilation of responses.
4. It would be great if you felt able to include the country the events took place in – I don’t enforce this but I think it provides a significant context for other readers. As an example look at the compilation for “School at Seven”
5. I will aim to compile responses and share them via another post before the next challenge is issued.
A few rules:
1.If you need or want to be anonymous that’s fine – When you post a comment just put ‘Anon’ or a nickname in the name field. It does ask for an email address as part of spam filtering but only I will see it.
2.Please keep others anonymous to protect their privacy and dignity – change names or use initials etc.
3.If you’ve got an axe to grind, please do it somewhere else.
4.If you stumble across this after the deadline, do feel free to contribute and include your blog link in the comments section of the compilation, so others can read it.