Sat in my aunties little front room, I watch the smoke rise in wispy tendrils and pass her laughing lips.
She talks in a croaky low voice, the voice of 100,000 cigarettes and a million lifetimes. She regales us with tales of long ago, of stories almost forgotten.
“Your great great granddad Townson Stuart, he would go into a strange town or village, throw his hat down and say “£10 to any man who can pick it up” he would then fight the man for £10, that’s how he earned his money. it was different then”
A happy laugh of a small child escapes the wrinkled mouth of a woman in her 70s. For the briefest moment, those crinkled, hazy eyes are the bright eyes of a girl of 8 years old.
As she takes a long draw of her cigarette, her small hunched shoulders shake as her lungs rasp and splutter , she is no longer the child in a pretty dress in a small village square, she’s a elderly woman sat in a lonely flat, holding on to times gone by.
1 million memories stored up in her mind, if we can glean just 5 and record them for the future generations, then that small joyful girl lives on. she doesn’t fade, she doesn’t disappear, she’s there for ever