Came across this idea on Jane Heinrichs' blog – got there via 'Notes from the Slushpile' and Candy Gourlay's blog (check out her 3 stories; very interesting); decided to have a go. According to Jane, “… the stories can be factual or fictional, they can be inspiring, funny, educational, or entertaining. They can be one sentence long, or much, much longer. The pictures can be photographs or sketches, or whatever tickles your fancy.”
I thought I’d go with ‘factual’ for my first attempt …
This gorgeous house was owned by the-then Malayan (now Malaysian) Railways, or KTM as its now called in the official language of Malay, which stands for Keretapi (train) Tanah Melayu (Malay land). It’s in Port Dickson, which is just over 30 miles from the capital of Kuala Lumpur, where we lived, and was used as a holiday home by railway employees. I don’t know if KTM still owns it, but I remember the wonderful holidays we had there as children … the adventures and ease with which we could escape into ‘fantasyland’. Up to 2 families at any one time would stay there – we always went with friends – and we never had to do anything 'domestic' as there were a caretaker and cook.
The house was on a hill overlooking the sea. Just past the bottom left-hand corner of the photo was a path that led down to the beach, with steps cut into the hill. The best part – we didn’t have to share that section of the beach with anyone else as it was the property of the railways.
My parents and two older sisters used to go to Port Dickson for their holidays from the 1950s I think. My dad was a very good swimmer, my mum not at all, and she and the other ladies and children would paddle about in the water close to the beach. What they didn’t realise was there was an area where the seabed close to the beach fell away quite steeply. My mum had gone close to it and disappeared under the water! My dad was swimming further out and came racing back when he realised what had happened, and got to her in time. But that scared her enough that, when my third sister and I came along, she never let us venture too far out into the water. After all this time, I still haven’t learnt how to swim … thank heavens for me fat, at least I can float!