• Stephanie Hammond

Take time to create memories

Oh how we loved those sounds! The clip clop clip clop of the horse’s hoofs and the cling clang of the bell that heralded the weekly arrival of the ice cream man!

Thanks to my cousin Daphne for sourcing the photo for me. He must have kept the ice cream frozen with ice - certainly there was no generator on board! And I wonder how many times he’d have to return to the factory to replenish supplies - or did it take him all afternoon to off load his wares to us - and all the other very appreciative ice cream lovers?

I don’t remember if we had to beg Mum or Dad to be allowed an ice cream. I suspect there were times when we didn’t get one. But those times are not at all in my memories. I see us still - all us kids from Weetwood Street, friends and cousins, running into the street, excitedly waiting our turn to be served.

Have-a-Hearts - the chocolate coated vanilla ice cream shaped like a heart and frozen on a stick - were a favourite with me. As were the Two-in-Ones - same vanilla ice cream, this time frozen on two sticks and dipped in chocolate coating. The two-in-ones were definitely the ones I loved best. It was heaven to me as I broke them apart, creating two ice creams out of the one!

As I look at this horse drawn cart all those memories come flooding back and I can almost feel how good that first bite tasted! It was the highlight of the weekend for us.

How simple those times were, and what a slower pace our lives had then. I try to recapture that pace now - slowing my breathing down and quietening my thoughts when I feel the pressure of deadlines and the urgency of things that have to be done. Still I’m amazed that I’m caught up in the busyness of our modern lives - I’m retired from full time work and those sorts of pressures! There are no young children at home. No schedules to keep track of except my own self imposed ones. No places I have to be at, except those I choose to go to.

And if I can still feel the pressure of this busyness, how much more pressures do others whose lives are more complicated feel? Today, as our modern ice cream van, Mr Whippy, drives around our suburban streets with ice cream treats for the neighbour children, I hope these families are able to take a moment in time to slow their busy lives down and share time with each other.

Whatever are our life demands, I hope we all can take time to breathe, relax, and slow the pace of life a little to create a memory that in a few decades time will bring back a time when life was good - and then that far away ‘today’ will be doubly good because of the memories, as it is for me now! Ice cream is rarely on my menu these days, but remembering will always be a treat!

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Last Days in Atlantis. (Historical fantasy - for young adult+ audience)

Mari is thrust into a position of responsibility as the warrior leader of the Atlantean Hill People before she's ready. She strives to make choices that are best for her and her people against a backdrop of deception and intrigue. She becomes entangled in the power struggles between her people and the rulers of the City of the Golden Gates. 

Events test her trust in the traditions of her people and her confidence in those who are dear to her: the Elders, her mother, and the young man she is expected to share her future with.  Mari believes she has failed the task and struggles to overcome her feelings of grief, guilt, and betrayal as she strives to survive the tumult around her. 

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This is the first of my children's stories about Beatrice, a young angel-in-training with one large wing. Beatrice Learns Compassion, offering a different approach to bullying, was illustrated by my granddaughter, Bella, when she was 10-years-old. It's suited to children of all ages.

The Kindle version is available from Amazon. Print copies are available to purchase through the contact page