I guess posting again after a very, very long time away is a little like riding a bicycle, or dancing salsa, or learning to sing again after losing your voice.
Not that I lost my voice; I just needed it for other things.
So let's give the old muscles a whirl.
Well, having recently been put right by some well-meaning teacher at school, Anna-mouse announced proudly the other day that she has learnt that 'masagine' isn't 'masagine' at all, and that she can at last pronounce the word correctly.
Go on then, I say, steeling myself for the moment I have deliberately delayed all her speaking life (it being the only word she consistently mis-pronounces which I, with equal consistency and an irrational longing for it to belong curiously and forever to childhood, like Peter Pan, don't correct).
Masagine! she says proudly, and instantly looks confused.
I smile, relieved, not at all guilty that the old, precious version is so deeply ingrained. She has another go and gets it right this time. Encouraged, she goes on to practise another long-time stumbler, 'submarine'.
Sumbarine! she cries.
Good, I think. Excellent.
And thus I set these markers, these tiny gems of childhood - my child's childhood - rustily down. They disappear, these gems. We think we will remember, these things which touch us, these unique and secret things, but more often than not we do not.
So in finding myself before a keyboard again, with so much to do and not a thought in my head about what to write but simply that I must, it is no surprise to find that it is one of these gems which I attempt to record.
After all, what else are we? What else remains of ourselves but our memories - and then, finally, those of others about us.