Tuesday, 25 September 2012

REMEMBER WHEN DAYS WERE LONGER?

 
 
It's a wet and windy Autumn day outside, as the rain runs down
my window and leaves swirl past as if they need to be somewhere in
a hurry. I almost feel like I should be preparing to brave the elements
whilst getting ready for school, so evocative is it of days of long ago
when such weather was something to be enjoyed (if you were ten
years old) rather than cower from like a big feartie.
 
I can smell that 'woody' tang in the air, with hints of fireworks
and Hallowe'en, and find myself wondering why, when I was younger,
All  Hallow's Eve and Guy Fawkes' Night seemed separated by a period
of several weeks instead of the actual five days that exist between them.
I can remember, in school, as the night of October 31st approached, the
afternoon being given over to making masks for the big event to come.
Then it would all happen again for November 5th, and I defy anyone
to cast their minds back without seeming to 'remember' these two
celebrations as being separated by a far longer period of time
than they actually were.
 
I've often wondered how such a thing can be so. If October 31st
fell on a Monday, mask-making day would have been on Friday the
28th. That means Guy Fawkes Night would have been on the following
Saturday, and mask-making day would have occurred on Friday the 4th -
a whole week later with a Saturday and Sunday in between. Well, week-
ends obviously seemed far longer to us as kids back then than they do
now, but not all mask-making afternoons were partitioned by a full
weekend, so the seemingly elongated interval between the two
events is not fully accounted for by such an explanation.
 
We'll just have to put it down to that same mysterious
phenomenon which makes all our yesterdays, in retrospect, seem
better, brighter and longer than they really were. Don't we all feel that
the summers of our childhoods were gloriously sunny for months on
end, and that every Christmas morn we woke to find a deep carpet
of snow spread before us outside our bedroom windows?
 
I doubt I'm alone in preferring to recall some things as they
seemed to be, as opposed to how they actually were. ("I think,
therefore it was" - as someone surely must have said.)

5 comments:

Christopher Sobieniak said...

Childhood memories of holidays certainly do seem like a long time ago.

Kid said...

And of a far longer duration too. We used to get 8 weeks school holidays in Summer, and it seemed to last forever - 'til about a week or so before they ended. Then it went by too fast.

Dougie said...

My earliest memories of British comics are The Topper, TV21, TV Tornado, Pow, Smash and Fantastic. When I was about 6 or 7 I had a papershop order for Whizzer and Chips and Cor! and later, Shiver & Shake.
My cousin got Valiant and Lion and other kids had the Beezer, the Dandy and the Beano. I was never crazy about anything from the DC Thomson stable other than the Topper. I never read the Hotspur and wasn't keen on my brother's Warlord. But for some reason, I was an avid collector of Thunder. Surprisingly, I didn't warm to Countdown but did intermittently follow TV Action.
Then MWOM came out and the world would never be the same again.

Kid said...

Ah, The Mighty World of Marvel - 40 years old in 5 days time, Dougie. (It first came out on Sept 30th, 'though dated Oct 7th.)

Dougie said...

Yes, indeed. I hope to mark that momentous event on my blog at the weekend!