Growing up, I was a member of the KKK. Yes, the KKK.
Ok, not the KKK, obviously! This was actually a slightly more exclusive KKK – a group open to only five other people. Rather unfortunately named, the KKK stood for the Kids Kaleidoscope Klub (of course, ‘club’ had to be spelled with a ‘K’!), which functioned out of my home, my cousins and I its only members.
I should elaborate here that I grew up in a sort of joint family way, living on one floor of a family home, with two aunts and their families on the floors above. So, in short, there were 6 of us cousins, not very far apart in age, and the stage was set for great amounts of absurdity.
Coming back to the KKK. I can’t recall when exactly my eldest cousin and ring leader had this particular brainwave – I only know that some of my earliest childhood memories revolve around this club and its ‘kaleidoscope’ of activities. It seems now as if there were great stretches of time spent in a sort of parallel, Enid Blyton-inspired, existence. Days where we trooped upstairs and down asking for “odd” jobs in exchange for money. Mornings spent “spring cleaning”. Mid-night feasts – as if we didn’t see enough of each other all day – to which were invited even more cousins. Writing a family newsletter, holding “craft sales” and “restaurants” in the loosest sense of those terms – decorated old tins and coke-floats anyone? Enacting Roald Dahl plays and staging concert performances. Evidence of tremendous parental love was the fact that each of these endeavours had a – seemingly willing – audience! Most secret (and now embarrassing) was us trying to solve those seemingly unknowable mysteries – what was that watchman, the neighbours really up to?
If I were ever to write a memoir, this would be one of my earliest entries.
What about you? How would you start your story? With memories of your own version of our KKK perhaps?