The artwork transformed places you might quickly walk through on your way somewhere else to places you go to linger. The varied pictures and styles change moods, raise questions, touch the soul. Bros 1957 and I lingered there, talking, smiling, photographing for several hours
Bros 1957: Wendy, do you remember what we were doing at this time on September 11th 1979?
Wendy: Errr…..um… …not really, what were we doing Bros 1957?
Bros 1957: Oh! You don’t remember!
Bros can produce an ‘Oh’ packed with emotional messages. It’s a family trait. He was genuinely very suprised that I didn’t remember what we were doing at a specific time on a specific day nearly 10 years earlier
Wendy: Nope. I can guess but it would be based on probablities that things I remeber happened at that time. What were we doing then?
Bros 1957: We were having a family sauna at a ski resort in Inari, Finland
Wendy: I remember the Sauna. How do you remember the exact date and time?
Bros 1957: because it was exactly 10,000* days ago (huge smile)
Bros 1957 has a fantastic ability to remember time and events together, he’s published an eponymous moon-based calendar.
* dates have been changed because I can’t remember them
Waiting for a local bus, for local people, locally, my other brother skipped up to me with a big smile and HELLLOOOOOO Wendy HaHaHa. I jumped up to hug him (he’s 6 ft 4).
skippy: Here’s the bus, three busses at once, OooooOOOOoo HaHaha
I walked toward the first double decker
skippy: WRONG! we want the single decker, Hahahahaha
Wendy: Oh (signifying disappointment at not getting the double decker)
Skippy is on the bus and has placed himself in the centre of the back row of 5 seats by the time I’ve joined the line and paid for a ticket. I look down the bus too see him at the end of the isle, he shows me all of his teeth and claps his hands, then raises one hand and waves it at me, as if I might be leaving, while laughing. I show him my recently cleaned teeth and run down the bus to take a seat next to him. We chat loudly during the journey. I laugh everytime Skippy talks because his enthusiasm and volume is brillliant. He is clearly happy to be with his little sister and I with him.
Skippy is looking forward to the Easter special Dr. Who episode, he tells me about it. I posit that maybe this bus is a TARDIS and one of the passengers is a time lord disguised as a local, the conversation deteriorates from here on.
A fairly typical secondary school conversation about my brother in the late 1970’s:
Secondary School Peer (SSP): you know your brother?
Wendy: yes, I know both of them, do you mean [name]?
SSP: No, the other one, what’s wrong with him?
Wendy: What do you mean ‘what’s wrong with him’
SSP: well, you know he’s not normal…
Wendy: how is he not ‘normal’?
SSP: you know, skipping down the corridors, laughing to himself and clapping his hands
Wendy: Oh (signifying acknowledgement that my other brother does all these things), yes, he does that when he’s happy
SSP: he’s happy in the corridors at school?
Wendy: yes, he’s always been able to entertain himself and find things to make him smile
SSP: He’s weird
He is still a happy soul, able to entertain himself and skip down the street when he’s happy. It’s as cute in a man in his 50’s as it was for a boy in his teens. I just bounce, I find that the less complex up-down movement reduces the likelihood that I will fall over.
A deficit of skipping must be a very sad thing, as indeed the beautiful, be-hatted, talented, lip-synch-averse, wiggly, much missed Billie MacKenzie recognised:
Bros: are we going the usual way (voice stress indicates some concern)
Wendy: I don’t know, you’ll have to direct me to the usual way
Bros: it’s the other way
Wendy: 180 degrees in the other direction is going the usual way?
I turn around in the car park of a local Medical centre. Bros. explains this is the medical centre he normally uses. It will close for-ever when another one is completed further away from his home. Approaching Bristol, Bros continues describing the usual way then comments that he hasn’t done this for 2 years so the Roads might have changed. I managed to reproduce near-enough the usual way. A way I had never taken because Uncle Vaughan set the usual way for my brother.
Exciting. Adventure. Upstairs on a double-decker bus without any adults. Going to the big city. Bother held my hand as we left the bus. We walked up the hill towards the Bristol Royal Infirmary. I knew the way because I came on the Bus with Mumsie every Thursday when she came to the city to shop.
Crossing the road, very scary. Mumzie always held my hand, checked for traffic. I didn’t know how to cross the road. I still find it particularly tricky. I held my brothers hand tightly, walked fast and close to him as we crossed the road. Once in the hospital I had no idea where to go. My brother read the signs and found my other brother (6yrs) in the childrens ward, who promptly started crying.
What a wuss. Here in this interesting big hospital with lots of fabulous toys and other children to play with and all he does is sit in bed crying! I wandered off to play with the other children and big toys. One of the children was bald. Some wacky children in here. Then dad turned up and we left crying brother in the hospital, crying even more now. We rode home in Dads pale blue Ford Corsair car. I was allowed to sit in the front seat because Mumzie wasn’t there.
Aha, I've been busy
Buying presents, flights, travelling, packing and unpacking. No time for romance or blogging.
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