Thursday, 8 June 2017


There was a moment in the '70s that I thought would last forever - and me along with it.  However, that moment eventually passed, and any illusions I had of immortality faded like the dying rays of the sun - as perish most of our hopes and dreams before life's fleeting journey has run its course.  I'm reminded of this every time I see yet another part of my past vanish from my life, suddenly and without warning.

On June 14th, which is a Wednesday, it will be 45 years since I first moved into the house in which I currently reside.  However, I've lived here for only 41 years, because 11 years after moving in, we flitted to another home in a different neighbourhood.  Just over 4 years later we returned - and I'll have been back here for precisely 30 years come August 1st.  (The official tenancy commencement date is Tuesday 4th, but we moved in 3 days early on the Saturday.)

Anyway, with the approaching anniversary of having first moved into this abode, I decided to take a trip along to my former neighbourhood, the one from which we moved in 1972.  On the way there, I noticed that 14 trees had been cut down, and when I arrived at my destination, I saw that another couple at the bottom of the street where I'd lived had also been removed.  To my mind, it was like discovering that 16 childhood friends had suddenly expired, and been disposed of before I'd had a chance to pay my respects.

I resent change.  Sometimes I feel as if I no longer live in the town I grew up in, but rather one that bears a bit of a resemblance to it.  It's almost like living in an alternate universe, wherein I spend my time wondering if I'll ever be able to figure out a way to return to my own.  I wish I were The MOLECULE MAN, because then I could revert everything back to how it all used to be.  Once more I'd be able to visit vanished buildings and places I knew as a youth, and feel as if I belonged again, instead of (just like MEL TORME) a stranger in my own home town.

There's a time in life when we feel 'in-sync' with the world, that it's there for us and dances to the same beat that we do.  Then, one day, we suddenly realise that we no longer recognise the tune and that it's best to 'sit this one out'.  It's then we know that 'our' moment has come and gone, and that we've now become spectators, as opposed to the partici- pants we once were.  Other dancers have taken to the floor, and we can only observe and wonder what happened to the melody and lyrics.  For us the dance is over, and willingly or not, we must accept our relegation.

There was a time when I felt at home in this neighbourhood.  It was mine (or, at least, as much mine as anyone's), and I was one of its younger inhabitants, and an inheritor of what the future would bring.  Now, however, I'm one of the rapidly diminishing 'old guard', and a brash, new, fresh contingent of youngsters overrun the place, treating it as their own.  I often find myself feeling like an intruder who's invading their space (much as I feel like they're intruders invading mine), and I realise the gossamer nature of the sense of 'belonging' we humans feel in relation to our surroundings, and just how transient it can be.

Anyway, to be honest, I never really had a clear idea of where I was going with this when I started, and it's now become a bit meandering so I'll draw it to a close.  If it's prompted any thoughts or observations of your own, feel free to record them for posterity in our contemplative comments section.  We may get something worth reading out of this post yet, so don't be shy now.  


Colin Jones said...

On June 17th it will be exactly 15 years since I moved into my current house. But you made a slight mistake, Kid - you said the official start of your tenancy was on Monday 4th August but you moved in three days earlier on the Saturday...surely you mean the Friday.

Change doesn't bother me as long as it's not too drastic. There have been lots of changes in my local area over the last 15 years or so and they've been for the better in my opinion - this place was a real dump but the changes are a big improvement. But some things never change - I've mentioned that my first ever Marvel comic was POTA #5 which I bought from a kiosk in the town bus station - that kiosk is still there and still selling newspapers and magazines nearly 43 years later. By the way, yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the Queen's Silver Jubilee on June 7th 1977 - we were supposed to have a street party but it threatened rain so the party was moved to the village hall which was a huge disappointment as I'd been to loads of parties in the village hall but I'd never been to a street party. 40 years later I still feel a tinge of disappointment. And today is exactly 40 years since the final appearance of the apes in UK Marvel - MWOM & POTA number whatever. Amazing to think that 40 years prior to 1977 Superman hadn't yet been invented !

Have you voted, Kid ? I intended to vote Green but when I got to the polling station I discovered there was no Green candidate on the ballot paper. So there I stood, pencil in hand, dithering over which party to vote for - I won't tell you who I voted for 'cause it's a secret but it definitely wasn't Tory or UKIP :D

Kid said...

I really don't know why I typed Monday, because I meant to type Tuesday, as such it was. (I must have got distracted.) I'll amend the post. Some change is good, of course, but I just feel that, overall, my town has got worse in many respects over the last 40 years and is now far too crowded, with no sign of it stopping any time soon. Regarding the Queen's Silver Jubilee, I remember it well, because it coincided with the 30th birthday of my town. In fact, I've had a banner on my wall since 1977 celebrating the joint occasion, although that's more to do with my town's anniversary than the Queen's. And although Superman didn't appear in print until 1938, he was actually created around 1934 - it took that long for Seigel & Shuster to sell the character.

Nope, haven't voted, don't think I will. Not out of laziness, but I just don't think any of them are worth voting for. That's the thing about freedom - we have the choice whether to exercise it or not.

paul Mcscotty said...

I ve lived in my current house for 18 years (the longest ever although I plan to move back "home" to GLasgow in a couple of years) although I worked and lived in London and overseas for about 3 years within the timeline. In my group of about 9 cottages I am th elongest staying resident although I am not the oldest (not far of it) - In that time the town has changed a lot and I have to say its been mostly for the better. The town I call my "real" home (Rutherglen - Glasgow) I haven't lived in since I was about 13 years old - I visited there for the first time in about 15 years (apart form passing through it now and then) a few years ago and it seems very differnet to me , recognisable (like you are with EK) but its not the same I sometime wish I hadn't gone back - its stillnice but lost that "edge"

I quite like EK although I don't live there (work there) it has certainly expanded and is getting busier it will soon get City status at this rate

Kid said...

They've been trying for city status for years, PM. Crazy! It was a great place in the '60s and '70s as it was. When you move back to Glasgow, because you've lived in your current place for 18 years, you may find it hard to adjust to somewhere 'new'. You are officially an old fart, remember, and old farts find it difficult to adjust. (And I should know.)

paul Mcscotty said...

Possibly but its not been a constant 18 years I usuallyaverage 4 - 5years lol - still its a long time but Im always in Glasgow never really settled where I am now , but something to KIV. Sadly I know I am a total old Fart kid but I like new experiences so a wee move sounds exctiing

Kid said...

I don't bother with excitement these days. Contentment will do for me.

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