I was clearing out the garage…….there were so many boxes, and black sacks, a broken ladder we'd kept "just in case", old paint tins, most of them empty or dried out, you know the sort of thing. Where does it all come from?
I'd kept promising myself that I'd do this, but it was the first time I'd actually got round to it. I honestly don't know which was putting me off more:- the thought of the spiders lurking in dark corners, or the old memories doing the same! Anyway, there I was, ready, if not totally willing.
And that's when I found it.....an old basket, the lid broken, the worn leather strap hanging from its rusty buckle: and suddenly I was four years old, and we were on the beach at Brighton, me, my parents, grandmother, baby brother. My ruched elastic swimming costume, my pigtails. It was my first picnic by the sea. Everything tasted of the ocean. I'd picked up a shining pebble and put it in the basket under the screwed up greaseproof paper.
And here it was! That same pebble. And the sounds of the sea and children and rustling paper and scrunching pebbles flooded back. Under it in the basket were some old photographs. I pulled one out...it was my school holiday on the Isle of Wight, my first time away from home without my parents. The next photograph was of the open-backed van that we travelled in on my first acting tour.
And out they tumbled, the pictures, the memories, the "firsts" of my life....including my first day at Brownies, my first boyfriend; and my first newspaper review, first record I sang, first record I wrote........
I looked round for something to put them in. There was a large empty tin that looked okay, so in they all went. I picked up the tin, and that's when I saw the label:- "Rainbow Paint". I remembered the laughter when I'd been given it because I was always redecorating!
Now it was full of all my 'firsts', the bright colours of my life so far.....and I realised suddenly that every time I looked at them, from now on, I would be doing 'exactly what it said on the tin'....painting my own rainbow!