Stolen Memories

Welcome to an insight into my first book.  Stolen memories is a true story of my life, the search and the truth.

Feel free to comment or add some useful words of advise or wisdom.


Weighing in a 9lbs 9 ozs, a little girl was born on a beautiful September day in a small town on the east coast of Scotland after a long and arduous labour and forceps delivery. As if this young life coming into the world had not been difficult enough, this beautiful little girl with her golden curls was to be torn from the mother, who had nurtured and carried her for 9 months, and set on a journey to find new parents urgently in need of a child to care for.

Her mother, a young girl of 16, who had been housebound for 6 months for fear of idle neighbourhood gossip by her own mother, knew little of the labour she had just endured for over 26 hours in her drug induced state and knew less of the wheels that were set in motion to extract her little girl from her life forever. Later in the day, the effects of the drugs abating, the young mother was distraught that she hadn’t even seen her new baby before she had been whisked away to the baby unit with strict instructions that the mother was to have no physical contact.
Later that night a young nurse appeared at the young mother’s bedside, a baby in her arms and whispered ‘this is your daughter’. As the young mum took the baby she stared into her eyes, tears rolling down her cheeks and held the baby so close, she smelled the sweet new baby scent and kissed her ever so gently over and over again. A nurse in charge appeared a few moments later in a blaze of fury shouting at the young nurse. The little girl was taken away once more and never to be held by her mother again.
The young mother was forever indebted to the young nurse, whether her actions were out of kindness or naivety who would know, she had given her small consolation of a memory, a picture and a smell that would stay with her for the rest of her life and for that she was eternally grateful.
Chapter 1

I’m sitting on a bench by the sea on a cold day early in January after having the worst Christmas and indeed year of my life. I often escape to the sea when things are getting on top of me, the sound of the crashing waves are so soothing, the seagulls searching for any scrap of food they can find, if I’m lucky I might see a cormorant swooping into the cold icy waters to catch some fish for lunch.

I look over the last few years and feel that life is wasting away after bad decisions, poor judgements and many disappointments. It’s January 2005 and I’ve just come out of the worst relationship of my life, short, but fairly significant. There are so many unanswered questions ......but I‘m scared! Scared of what I’ll find.

I search my bag for yet another cigarette; well we all need a crutch of some description, do we not? Cigs have always been my crutch, I stop so many times, and unfortunately I’ve always started once more than I’ve stopped! “A fly filthy” as my mate calls it. “You coming out for a fly filthy” in her deep-rooted Oxford drawl, it does make me laugh. I always conform of course, would be rude not to!

Having found a quiet bench off the beaten track, I light up and find myself reflecting on what had been, what could have been and so many ‘if only’s’. If only I’d stayed on at school and gone to Uni, apart from a wicked time as a student, all night parties and a number of pranks which no doubt would have gotten me into the deepest of trouble. You see that’s my problem, well one of them anyway, a little alcohol, well the second glass of wine to be precise, and I am incorrigible. I suddenly decide that I am funnier than Michael McIntyre and take up more challenges than Annika Rice which normally result in a disaster. Anyhow I digress, as I said, if I had gone to Uni, I could be earning a fortune; head of a multi-national empire, a leading designer, a celebrity chef - well maybe not, too much hard work and unsociable hours for my liking. It’s not as if I didn’t want further studies, I did okay at school, not top of the class if you know what I mean, but okay. But I was persuaded by my mother to leave school at sixteen and take up a wonderful offer from her friend! Fantastic opportunity it was forty hours a week working as a junior clerk in a Victorian insurance office for what, £29 per week. I wish minimum wage was around.

Anyhow I followed my mother’s dream for me and left school 6 weeks into fifth year and took up this wonderful opportunity. She was so proud of me or was it the £10 a week she took from me in digs that she was so proud about! Imagine any parent encouraging her child to leave education at the earliest possible opportunity, am I mad or is this the sign of a frustrated middle-aged woman desperate to be free of her responsibilities and pursue her own desires, not to mention a few extra quid in her pocket to don a new frock for the dancing each week?

My dad would never have wanted that I can assure you, I was the twinkle in his eye, daddy’s little girl, the cherry on his cake. But sadly I lost my dad when I was only twelve, quite suddenly one night his time had come and he was taken from me. My dad was a good man, hard worker and although self-educated an avid reader and extremely intelligent. I suppose all little ones think their Dad knows everything, maybe that comes from mum saying to you all the time “Ask your Dad?”. We all get it, I’ve heard myself say it many times in the past. However my dad always wanted me to do well in school, helped me with my homework and encouraged me to read, that all ended when I was twelve.

This was the first loss I had to bear in my so far short but fairly normal existence. As a child it’s very difficult to relate a short term loss with a long term one, Dad had worked away for many years, five or seven days at a time, sometimes more, but he always came home and we spent quality time together while mum was at work. He spoiled me so much, new clothes, toys, ice creams, not forgetting the walks in the park with our beloved Wendy, a beautiful pedigree tri-colour rough collie. So in the beginning when the initial tears had subsided, I resumed normality and stored away the knowledge that my daddy was never coming home, buried so deep that it didn’t surface until much, much later. Another if only, if only my dad had lived how different would my life have been? I realise I am so cold, my fingers feel numb and its starting to get dark, so I head home….more numb than my fingers.

To be continued...

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