Wednesday, 14 November 2012


In previous posts I've bored you all rigid with ponderous ponderings
on the nature of time, as well as rambling reminiscences of my childhood
and how I've never been quite able to comprehend how I went to bed one
night as a teenager and woke up what seems like the very next day as the
grumpy curmudgeon I am now.  Well, the bad news is that it's more
of the same, I'm afraid.

As a child I was always looking backward.  When I moved from the
first house I remember (but not the first I lived in), I made little pilgrim-
ages to my old street to look at my former abode and derive some comfort
from the familiarity of its presence.  What's odd about this over-developed
sense of nostalgia is that I only lived three or four minutes away and was
a mere five and a half years old.  Wow!  Not even six and already
hankering after the 'good old days'.

This compulsion to revisit the past has been a prominent feature
of my personality all through my life to this very day.  I recently added
photographs of the views from the windows of my previous houses to my
screensaver facility so that I can again gaze on familiar scenes whenever
the mood takes me.  At the click of a key I can re-experience any one of
several landscapes that once met me when I drew back the curtains
in the morning at various stages in my life.

However, there was one particular house (the third after the afore-
mentioned ones above) I lived in for several years that I didn't miss 'til
over a dozen years after moving out (and two houses down the line) and
I've often wondered as to the reasons for this 'delayed reaction'.  If you're
interested (or aren't currently engaged in watching paint dry), feel free to
join me as I explore the possible explanation for the curious complexity
which has puzzled me for many a long year.

When I moved from the house in question (back in 1972), my life still
revolved to a great degree around the neighbourhood it was situated in.  I
continued to attend the school just across the road from it for another two
and a half years.  I still went to Summer and Christmas fayres in the church
at the top of the street, and my mother dutifully trotted along to the Sunday
services every week, even though there was another congregation of the
same denomination just around the corner from our new home.  (In fact,
it was from this group that the one my mother went to had sprung.)  My
friends all lived near or around my old domicile and I continued to
frequent the area for quite a few years after.

It wasn't unusual for me to come home from school (and later,
work), have my tea, and then return to my previous neighbourhood
to hang about the local shopping centre (about thirty seconds away from
my old front door) with my pals.  Perhaps that explains why I wasn't con-
sumed with the same rabid pangs of nostalgia I nursed for previous houses;
I saw it so often that I simply never had a chance to miss it.  The ambiance
of the house was preserved in our new home by the presence of the same
furniture we'd had in every place we'd ever lived in - plus, our new house
was similar in many respects to the first one I remembered, hence it
conjured up a feeling of familiarity that pre-dated the dwelling we
had just recently vacated.

It wasn't until we had again moved house (in 1983) and were
ensconced in yet another new residence that I gradually started to miss
the one we had quit way back in 1972.  What's strange about this was that
I was simultaneously wallowing in nostalgic notions for the homestead we
had just left (to say nothing of the ones which preceded them both), so it
certainly can't be denied that I was spoilt for choice when it came to
such sentimental self-indulgence.  Maybe I'm just greedy?

Okay, we've killed a few minutes, so how do I bring these meandering
musings to a close?  Tell you what - let's save it for the next post.


Dougie said...

I frequently dream of being in my dad's house- the one I grew up in. Yet I've only once dreamed of the flat I actually own in the last couple of years.

Thanks very much for the package that arrived yesterday. I'm keeping he discs 'til Xmas. The lettering was very visually attractive!

Kid said...

I sometimes dream I'm upstairs in one house - and then when I walk downstairs, curiously I'm in another. Weird.

Hope you think the discs were worth waiting for when you get to listen to them.

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