Sunday, 14 February 2010

Ice cream

I wonder if the ice cream van still visits the street on which I grew up. The street is like the top bar of the letter T, in that it's a dead-end on each side and accessible by road only via the one junction.

The ice cream van would stop at the point in the street near the junction and, upon hearing it approach sufficiently in advance (I'm quite certain that its speaker would blare out The Blue Danube), we'd pester my mum and dad for some change and then run up to join the queue. I associate such memories with bright sunny days for the most part, I suspect that's the rosy glow of nostalgia as much as anything.

I remember one occasion where it was overcast. I maybe hadn't heard the tones of The Blue Danube (rendered pathologically, almost aggressively cheerful in its conversion to tinny ice cream van speakers), and had perhaps just noticed the van halfway up the street as I looked out the window.

I ran to my mum and persuaded a few coins from her, and dashed out of the house. There was no queue - whether nobody else fancied ice cream on such a day, or whether they'd already been and bought theirs, I wouldn't know - but as I neared, I heard the ice cream man start the engine to embark back down the connecting street.

Surely he's seen me, I thought - I got to him just as he was starting to turn and drive away. I put my hand up to wave - I wanted him to stop because I wanted to buy an ice cream. He waved back, smiled a warm smile, and carried on driving down the road. I was left standing there, disappointed and sans ice cream. I trudged disconsolately back home, I may have even felt my lip trembling a little, and I gave the coins back to my mum.


For whatever reason, I've been toying with whether to write/publish the above post for a long time. I've frequently rejected doing so because it feels mawkishly sentimental, and perhaps also because the memory usually recurs when I'm feeling flat (it may be my earliest clear memory that I associate with the experience of disappointment).

5 comments:

DJ Kirkby said...

But, why didn't he stop? Bad ice cream man!

Sophia said...

I totally remember the ice cream truck coming around our neighborhood as well. I couldn't wait to purchase a bomb pop!! :P

Fire Byrd said...

The disapointment the adults inflicte on children, albeit unwittenly is hard to bare when your small.It rocks our safe worlds were we are important, at least to our parents. And it doesn't go away for that reason. And what's more if we are not careful it gets replayed endlessly through life in transference.
xx

trousers said...

Deej, he was a good man as far as I remember: just had ice-creams to sell elsewhere I presume. Crushing as that fact was....

Soph - if you don't mind the abbreviation - I did wonder whether you had an equivalent to the ice cream man or whether you all (yes, that's all of you, on that big old continent) just went to ice cream parlours or somesuch. Actually I have no idea and am just blissfully displaying ignorance. Don't mind me :)

Fire Byrd, I'm not one to point out other people's spelling, even though I'm a bit of a spelling fascist (except of course that it's ok for me to make the odd error) - it's just that your sojourn in Devon appears to have made you go a bit Olde Englishe.

Of course I'm deflecting from the fact that you've hit the nail on the head, bless you :) x

Janette Jones said...

Mr M was at home last year and heard the ice cream van arrive on our street, grabbed some change and then went out only to see the back end of the van disappearing around the corner. I think there may have been some fist shaking and few rude words said at that point...