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Sunday, 2 July 2017
A MOMENT IN TIME, NOT FAR REMOVED...
Chances are, dear readers, that you've moved house
at least once in your life. Do you remember the night before
flitting, and the day you arrived at your new home? I do - in
all my houses but the second one. I no longer recall actually
leaving the house, but I do very much remember arriving
at our new home, the third one. Why do I ask?
For quite a while after moving into a new house, one's
repertoire of memories is still very much anchored in the
previous one. On your first day in a new home, if you wish to
recall anything that happened more than a day ago, your recol-
lection of any event is set in the time of your former home, for
however long you happened to be there. Was it five years -
ten? Then, as I say, most of your accessible memories
are rooted in your old house, not your new one.
What am I on about you may be wondering? Well, I
sort of feel that, until you can cast your mind back any sig-
nificant amount of time and it's a memory of something that
occurred in your current residence, then it's almost like you're
still living in your old one and haven't yet fully 'acclimatised' to
the change. I'm maybe overstating things to make my point,
but it's perhaps not 'til the balance of memories of both
houses is at least equal that you've fully settled in.
What I'm trying to suggest is that, when the majority
of your recollections are based in a different location, in
an unconscious sort of way you're still living there. It's a bit
like your partner dying (or you getting divorced) and you re-
marrying soon after. The day after your wedding, you can't
think of your spouse beyond that point without it being your
previous one. It takes a while to build up a new stock of
memories so that when you think back any length of
time, your new spouse is part of the picture.
Okay, I'm stating the obvious in order to prepare
you for the ground along which we're headed, which is
this. Sometimes, when I wake in the morning, because it's
the same room I slept in when I was 13, it's easy to imagine
that it's my first day in that room. Meaning it's only the day
before that I was sleeping in my old room, making the time I
resided in my former home feel much more immediate and
recent than it is, which I find comforting. It feels like my
time in that former home, and therefore my child-
hood, is no further away than the day before.
That feeling is fleeting and only lasts 'til I see the
old man in the mirror staring back at me, but for a brief
instant, a cherished moment in time is resurrected and it
feels like I'm not so far removed from it. Trust me, that's
mainly a good feeling - until it passes and reality once