I cannot pin it down.
My first memory is a mayfly – darting, vivid, short-lived.
I am running through an English wood, near the college where my military father was undertaking a command course. I think my older sister was with me, because I believe I was returning home from nursery school and she was at the corresponding primary school, but I am not certain of that.
My head collided with something swinging from a branch. A hornets’ nest.
I ran home in a cloud of angry insects, painful lumps springing up all over my face and scalp.
I remember being dunked in a cold bath and…well, that’s about it.
What bothers me is that, while my sister confirms the facts, I must have been just short of three years old at the time and that seems somewhat young to remember, even if it was a fairly traumatic event. (I get a massive histaminic reaction now to any insect sting, though short of anaphylaxis.)
Swirling, darting, painful
Nest of memories