Friday 8 December 2023

Memory Mixtape #24: Jack Frost

Icicles hang on the windowpane
The blizzard blows
It's frozen over again

It's not the best photograph I've ever taken, certainly not one I'd submit to John's monthly Photo Challenge, but as soon as I saw this icy pattern on our bathroom skylight yesterday morning, my mind raced back to what must be my very earliest memory.

I had to explain the frost patterns to Sam as he's rarely seen them. With double glazing and better central heating, they're much less common than they were when we were kids. Google search "frost on windows" and you'll find all kinds of doomsayers telling you your house is about to collapse through poor insulation and frigid entropy... they have to spoil everything, don't they?

My earliest memory is of frosty patterns on my mum's bedroom window. I remember lying in my cot (that's how young I was!), looking up at the patterns and thinking I could see frosty faces staring back at me from the glass. It was dark, but I also remember a red toy fire engine nearby, so perhaps it was just after Christmas.

My mind has held onto this image, and the feelings attached to it (warmth, security... but also a fingertip of icy fear) for almost 50 years. But is it really still a memory? Or is it just the memory of a memory? Do I remember it now because I've remembered it before? 

Maybe that's just how memories last. The ones we don't keep remembering eventually fade away completely, like frost on the windowpane. As I get older, that'll probably happen more and more. Important to write them down then, to preserve them for as long as I can read this.


  1. Ice on the inside of the windows!

    1. I think it was on the outside. Honest.

  2. Is there normally a bikini shape on your bathroom skylight? Maybe its just me in which case I will seek help.

  3. Meant to say your tracks of the year are up today on No Badger Required. Bit late now though. Swc.


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