It’ll come as no surprise that I was a bookish child, I rarely left the house to go out and play and would opt to stay in the massive musty smelling Austin Maxi that my father drove rather than go play in the the sun on whatever day trip my parents would take us on. Evesham or Stourport all enjoyed from the the smeared window of a car built like a tank glanced at by bored eyes while turning the page of whatever comic or book I head stuck my head in. Its why I’m such a good traveller now, I either sleep or read during the boring bits.
So the memories I have of the the little strip of green known locally as the Kala’s I am suspicious of, I never really went outside so why are my memories so strong? So vivid? Are they borrowed from my school-friends’ stories? Squirrelled away in my mind that expects a Wonder Years montage of important childhood memories. Its more likely that the fantasy of being so bookish and anti social are an exaggerated construct to assert my difference and nerdy credentials. Yet, I still don’t know how to ride a bike but can read on almost any transport without feeling ill in the slightest.
The Kala’s has a magical sounding name, and it suits because its a fairy tale sort of place. The name actually comes from the industrial estate it run behind, the bizarrely name Kalamazoo on the Bristol Road where Northfield and Longbridge meet. Its a strip of forest about a football pitch in width that ran parrall to the train lines, a tiny crack of green, a lush hinterzone of my childhood. the grey of the adult world always visable but forgotten trapped between that and the dangers of the railway, we’d all seen the videos but played on them anyway.