Friday, 13 December 2013


Jim Reeves either has an invisible rifle - or
his memory is playing tricks on him again

Apparently, four of the most stressful and traumatic events in life are death, divorce, going on holiday, and moving house.  (There will, of course, be others.)  In the matter of the latter I have quite a bit of experience, having flitted homes six times by the time I was 28.  One house, which we lived in for around only 15 months, was a slightly larger abode than the one we moved to, which had one bedroom less, but was pretty much the same design and style of house as its predecessor.

This leads to some interesting memory problems for me, because so similar were the two houses - especially in regard to where the living-room was located in relation to the kitchen - that sometimes I have to think really hard to separate the recollection of events in one house from those of the other. Lying on the carpet, drawing DALEKS after having read TV CENTURY 21, was that in the previous home or the later one? Both, actually, but I was surprised to find recently that a Dalek story with which I associated the preceding house, wasn't actually published until I was residing in the subsequent one.  'Twas only by checking the date on the comic that I could place it in its proper time-frame.

When we later moved into another house, it was a larger version of one which pre-dated the above two, so there was a sense of pre-existing familiarity that no doubt helped to dilute any sense of displacement I might feel at moving to yet another home (the fifth) at the tender age of 13 and a half.  Again, sometimes I seem to remember things that happened in the earlier house as having occurred three houses removed (and vice versa), which can be quite disconcerting when thinking back and trying to place events in their proper sequence.  So, a sense of similarity and famil-iarity in a new home can often be a good thing, but can sometimes lead to confusion when sorting through one's reminiscences at a much later date.

The fact that we had the same furniture in our first five houses (with a few additions now and then) compounds the problem, as furniture helps create the ambiance of a place.  When you're sitting in the same armchair at 17 as you did at 7, surrounded by the same 'fixtures and fittings', it's understandable that, looking back later in life, some memories from different times and places get mixed up in one big melting pot.  This curious confusion usually kicks-in when the memory is beginning to 'go' a bit anyway - that's when such uncertainties begin to surface.
Thank goodness for weekly comics with dates on them to help me keep my memories in order.  Otherwise there are times when I wouldn't know if it was New York or New Year.  Sometimes though, I wonder if it would've been easier if I'd kept an actual diary - what do the rest of you  think, if anything?  Feel free to comment if you so desire. 


Anonymous said...

I know well the pains of moving. Whenever I'm confronted with the terrifying prospect of having to move all my crap and clean up the place behind me, I'm always tempted to just light a match, set myself on fire and burn the whole goddam place down.

Kid said...

Hopefully a less drastic solution will present itself should you ever have to move again, MLP.

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