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itsjustc asked about my earliest memory, but I could not answer. There are several from when I was 3--5 years old, yet I have never set out to determine their chronological order.

I think that my oldest memory predates those, and I was between 2 and 3 when I used to bite my brother. Not of any particular incident, but that I did. I had to be pretty young when my parents stopped me, and I doubt there were more than a scant few occasions, but I do not know how young, because while I am absolutely certain it happened, my mother denies it. I think she just absolutely does not want to remember it did.

Other than that, there was the time my brother and I shattered a vial of brilliant green* [disinfectant] on the floor, and were terribly afraid of our parents' reaction, because that stuff does not come out of things easily. I do not remember their reaction, funnily enough, so it was not horrible, but I do remember the stain on the floor that did not get off for over ten years. Silly lucky us though, we did not get any of the stuff on the nearby cupboard or carpet which both would never have been the same again. Looking back, I may only assume our parents were more relieved with that than angered by the accidental spillage.

There are several flashes of memory-feelings, such as bright sparkling snow outside on a cold sunny winter day and warmth inside the house; a field of yellow-green dandelions
"fatly" rich in pollen whose heads we collected for dandelion honey (and had to take care not to take any of the green stuff, or it would be bitter); the very particular smell in our grandmother's house in Vladimir, and finally, the smell of birch tar ointment** I had to forever wear on my always scabbed knees that took to vesicate(?) at the drop of a hat.

Finally, there is that time we went to our granny's country house near Vladimir. I was wearing a very short dress, maybe this one, and then on the way there (it was a warm summer day, and the road was dusty cracked asphalt with a lot of weeds growing on either side near the other houses' fences) I stumbled and sat into a forest of nettles that were taller than I was. I remember being torn between relieved (by not falling on my knees for once but landed on something "soft"!) and horrified (by the nettle bites all over my bare legs!), and afterwards, again, nothing. Mother says I listened to her and did not scratch, so the bites did not go bad, but I have no memory of the aftermath.

*Two disinfectants are used on kids here, the iodine solution for minor scratches or to help dissolve bruises which evaporates in a jiffy, and the brilliant green [dye] (take a look at this green-spotted baby) which lasts much longer and is often applied to welts caused by childhood diseases, such as pox (I think), to prevent itchiness (which, presumably, is what is goining on in the picture).
**Image of the ointment, though usually it comes in a tube or, earlier, in a brown-glass jar. The proper name of the stuff is Vishnevsky's balsamic liniment. For being smelly, slimy and kind if iffy-looking, this ointment does wonders and everybody has it at home in case of boils and other infection-caused skin problems.


itsjustc спросила про мои самые ранние воспоминания, но я никогда не задумывалась, какая из нескольких приходящих на память сцен самая ранняя. Наверное всё же, как я кусала брата. Лет мне тогда было наверное было два или три, но не знаю сколько точно, потому что хотя я абсолютно уверена, что кусание имело место (и его, конечно, очень быстро остановили), мама утверждает, что ничего подобного никогда не было. Я думаю, ей просто сильно хочется в это верить.

Кроме того, есть ещё неизвестный день, когда мы с братом (конечно же случайно) разбили об пол флакон зелёнки, и очень боялись реакции родителей - ведь не отмоется же никогда. А реакции никакой не вспоминается, хотя пятно зелёное там просуществовало, постепенно выцветая и уменьшаясь, больше десяти лет. Вспоминая тот день, я думаю, что родители обрадовались, что всё попало на пол, а не на ковёр, до которого было меньше полуметра, и не на буфет, который был и того ближе, и которые бы точно никогда после этого не были бы прежними.

Ещё есть несоколько выспышек тактильных воспоминаний, вроде искрящегося и переливающегося за окном под солнцем снега в холодный зимний день, когда так уютно в домашнем тепле; поле "жирно" богатых пыльцой жёлто-зелёных одуванчиков, у которых мы собирали головки на варенье, и нужно было не собрать ничего зелёного, чтобы оно не было горьким; очень особенный запах бабушкиного дома во Владимире, и наконец сильный дегтярный запах, холодное липкое прикосновение и бесконечные бинты с мазью Вишневского у меня на коленках, на которые я постоянно падала, обдирала их, и которые всё время радостно нарывали по малейшему поводу и без повода.

Последнее воспоминание - одна из поездок к бабушке на дачу под Владимиром. На мне было очень короткое платье, может быть это, и по дороге к её дому (день был тёплый, потрескавшаяся асфальтовая дорога - пыльной, а сорняки по обочинам вдоль чужих заборов - высокими), я спокнулась и уселась в заросли крапивы выше меня ростом. Помню две противоположных эмоции, облечение (что не упала на коленки в этот раз а даже уселась в "мягкое"!) и страх перед тем что будет дальше (я же никогда раньше так колоссально не стрюкалась крапивой!), а дальше - ничего. Мама говорит, что я послушалась и не стала чесаться, поэтому ничего особо и не было, а я не помню.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 4th, 2015 05:27 pm (UTC)
Interesting memories.

I seem to think that people used to use Birch tree tar on their garden fences to keep insects away? I think they stopped using it when they started using coal tar creosote. it is interesting to see it in a medicinal form and find out it's other uses.

My mom used to tell me that as a toddler I ran naked, straight into a huge bush of stinging nettles and stung myself so badly I was really ill but I don't remember the incident at all.
May. 4th, 2015 06:11 pm (UTC)
I think tar is used to ward off ants even in apartment buildings.

Haha, nettles. Do you cook young nettle soup? And did you have bets with other kids whether you could hold some? :-)
May. 4th, 2015 06:36 pm (UTC)
I've never had nettle soup but as I seem to be going more and more back to natural foods and old recipes it is something I would like to try.

I drink nettle and ginger tea occasionally (I've not made it - it's tea bags lol!) it's supposed to be good for sore throats.

Yes we used to do that with our friends lol!

Do you get dock leaves growing next to nettles as we do here in the UK? Mom used to say that it was brilliant how nature always provided the cure for the stings right next to the nettles!
May. 4th, 2015 07:28 pm (UTC)
Yes, dock leaves often grown nearby... but I've never heard of such a remedy!

I have googled nettle soup recipes and the first ones to come up are purees, yet it's good without blending, too, and slightly similar to well, dock soup.

A bit of confusion here. For remedy, did you mean the edible 'dock' (Latin name Rumex acetosa) or the rougher and larger Rumex confertus? My dictionary gives 'dock' or 'sorrel' for both, but we grow and eat the first, it being nicely sour, and ignore the second as a weed.

Edited at 2015-05-04 07:36 pm (UTC)
May. 4th, 2015 07:47 pm (UTC)
from Google -
"In Western Europe, dock leaves are a traditional remedy for the sting of nettles, and suitable larger docks (such as broad-leaved dock Rumex obtusifolius or curled dock Rumex crispus) often grow conveniently in similar habitats to the common nettle (Urtica dioica)."

Having looked them both up its the Rumex obtusifolius that we get commonly here.

You just rub the leaf on the sting (they say leaf vein side against the skin but I just rub it any which way and it works) and it stops the pain.
May. 6th, 2015 12:40 pm (UTC)
Fascinating. I did not even know that the plant you call "broad-leaved dock" also belongs to the "dock", or Rumex, family. In fact, I did not know its name at all because we do not use it against nettles!

The curled dock is known to us (and called about the same in Russian), and we eat its young leaves, same as garden sorrel (Rumex acetosa), but garden sorrel is preferable, because the old leaves of the curled dock become too firm and bitter to consume.

I will definitely remember to try it next time I visit someone in the country (may even hold stinging nettles on purpose for this :-) ).

Thank you!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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