Thursday, 15 November 2012


Continuing and concluding my self-indulgent speculations as to why
I, nostalgic sentimentalist extraordinaire, didn't miss one of the seven
houses I'd lived in over the course of twenty-eight years until well over a
decade-plus later, permit me to milk the theme even further - but from a
slightly different perspective. I think it's safe to assume (as mentioned in
my previous post) that spending a large part of my everyday life in my
old neighbourhood (seven hours at school a day for starters), accounts
for the fact that no longer actually living there seemed to make no
discernible difference to me at the time.
Perhaps another reason I only started to miss this particular house
when I did had something to do with running into an old classmate from
primary school in the neighbourhood shops across from my old home in
1984 or '85. ALEX LOWE is his name, and he's as decent a bloke as you
could ever hope to meet. We exchanged greetings, enquired after each
other's well-being, and then Alex asked: "Are you still living across the
road?", nodding in the direction of my previous abode. He was surprised
to learn that I had moved away about twelve or thirteen years earlier, and
it made me wonder how many other people I knew still thought I lived
in a place I had left almost half my life away at that point.
Talking of Alex (and veering wildly off topic), I hope he won't mind
me recounting that he once appeared in our secondary school play as a
fairy, uttering the immortal lines: "I'm a fairy, bright and gay, helping
others every day!" I don't recall much else about that play, but Alex's
turn got such a huge laugh on the night that everybody remembered it -
and constantly quoted the lines back to him in lisping, falsetto voice over
the course of the next few terms. (I know I did, little bastich that I was.)
He always took it in good humour, being the fine fellow he is.
I had planned to expand the scope of this topic and try and explore
(in an epic exercise in tedium) wider themes than I actually have. For
example, what it is that draws us to our past and connects us to where
we came from, and whether or not it has any bearing on the direction we
take in life. Can a house in which we once stayed shape our perceptions
of ourselves, or would we be exactly the same as we are regardless of
the bricks and mortar which shield us from the elements? However, the
realisation has now dawned on me that it's simply too big a concept to
concisely and competently capture within the confines of a couple of
blog posts or so - in an interesting and entertaining way, at least.
I'll have to content myself with the hope (slim as it may be) that I may
have prompted some readers to indulge in a little quiet contemplation of
whatever memories are stored within the repositories of their own minds.
Or, failing that, helped cure them of their insomnia.

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