Childhood Innocence

I’ve returned home for a few days, just needed a bit of a break and felt like visiting, so I started going through some of the stuff I’ve left here; old photos, keepsakes, random bits and bobs I’ve kept hold of but don’t need or use, and I stumbled across my diary/photo album from my trip to Disneyland Paris.

I must have only been about 8 years old at the time, my handwriting and spelling was pretty appalling, but the diary made me laugh and I wanted to share some of it with you.

I was always fond of animals as a child, my pets always meant the world to me and I’ve always loved looking after them. At the time of our trip to Disney, we had two guinea pigs, mine was called Millie, my brother’s for some reason was Sharon…a bizarre guinea pig name for a 6 year old boy to choose I know! We also had two gerbils , Whizzer (mine…because she was fast) and Cilla (my brother’s, because she was black and we watched Blind Date a lot).

I was always that kid that believed that sitting with an injured baby bird, keeping it warm and dabbing its wounds with warm water would save its life and I’d sit there for ages. One time, I honestly believed I could sew a worm back together after it’d been split in two; perhaps it was the fact it was still squirming that made me think there was still chance for it. Even now I still stop to pick up slugs and snails from the road and move them to safety and I get a little lump in my throat whenever I see roadkill. I guess that’s how I’ll always be.

So looking back at the photos and things from my trip to Disney, my first holiday abroad, it was nice to see that even in my excitement as an eight year old kid about to go to Disneyland I still didn’t forget my duty to care for my animals.

The diary was something given to us by the holiday company as part of a children’s pack to keep us occupied. We got a rucksack each and a few bits and bobs and of course the obligatory photo/autograph album. The album had a few pages for us to fill in and it was the countdown page that amused me the most.

In the diary entry two days before our holiday they had pre-printed “buy sweets for the journey” under ‘things to remember’. With my blue Biro I crossed this out; most eight year olds love sweets but clearly I didn’t see the importance, and instead I penned in my childish handwriting and terrible spelling “clean out gunie pigs/gerbils” because even at eight years old, with a trip to Disneyland imminent, making sure my pets were looked after was the most important thing!


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