18 May 2013

Childhood Memories

Memories from my early childhood feel like dreams and things from later days have got jumbled up within the two major events that shaped them - my parents separating and the loss of my Grandpa. I have two memories that come with the latter. One has to be one of the most embarrassing and heartbreaking and the other is one of my most treasured. Let's get the embarrassing one out of the way.
My Grandpa was an engineer and had this massive drawing board in his office. As I was studying Graphic Communication at that time and was coming up for exams, my Grandma said that I was to inherit it.

As part of my English exam we had to give an instructional talk and my topic of choice was to show the class how this massive drawing board and the mechanical set square that was with it worked. I was waiting outside the class with a few other folk for the teacher when for some reason I had to leave for a few minutes. So I left the drawing board there and returned a little while later.

I hated talking in front of people {still do} so was already really nervous. Just as I was about to start I realised that the set square had been broken and wasn't working properly. I started to panic, shake and then cry in front of the whole class!

What happened from that point I don't remember, I just remember feeling so heartbroken that this thing I had inherited from such an important man in my life had broken - under my care. I felt sad and angry that I had left it alone and this had happened. I didn't do my talk that day and don't recall every doing it.

The drawing board now, in my office helping me get creative!

To the cheery memory now. We lost my Grandpa in December 1999 and that year I had was given one of my most treasured gifts. It was a portfolio case, with my initials on it,  full of graphical goodies - pencils, paper, French curves, set squares, letter transfers - everything I needed for my exams in the Spring and more.

They were given to me as a gift from my parents, but I felt the connection with Grandpa as he had used these kind of things throughout his life.

A few months later, I think during my exams I was sitting with Mum in the kitchen talking. I don't know how the subject came up, but at some point she told me the best thing. The portfolio and graphics equipment wasn't bought by her, they were bought for me by my Grandpa before he died.

This felt magical! It gave them a whole new meaning, I felt love for him and loved by him through them and every time I used them. I use the drawing board and all my tools to this day for my own work, it almost feels as if he's standing over my shoulder checking my work and saying "good work wee yin"


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