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Friday, 9 June 2017
WHEN YOU GET TO A BIT THAT MAKES ANY SENSE, GIVE ME A SHOUT...
Why this illustration? See footnote
Having lived in 7 houses in my life by the time I was 24, and 5 of them while I was still a kid, I've often felt that I've had more than one childhood. (Due to the fact I associate a separate section of my childhood with each domicile.) This has prompted me to occasionally wonder if my childhood perhaps feels more varied and eventful than it otherwise would have had I lived in the same abode for all my early years. I also wonder whether those who only ever lived in one house as a kid had a different perception of time to mine.
However, with the death of ROGER MOORE, I'm now starting to get a sense of what it must be like to have stayed in the same place for any significant period. That's because I was in my current house when Big Rog was a mere 45 years young and had just taken over the role of JAMES BOND - and now he's departed this mortal vale while I yet inhabit the same domicile I did as a callow 13 year old youth.
Hell's bells, it's gone by in a flash! Next Wednesday will be 45 years to the very day since my family first moved to this address, but it doesn't seem possible to have been quite that long. And yet, when I think back to the comics and toys I had as a child, it feels as if I had them for lengthy periods of years and years - and all at the same time. (Regular readers will be used to my meandering streams of thought by now, but if you're a 'newbie', bear with me as I ramble.)
As you'll know from your own experience though, many of the goodies we had as kids weren't concurrent with each other and never saw the interior of the same toybox or cupboard. Some we may only have owned for weeks or months, others for a few years at most, but in memory, it seems as if they all cohabited for equal duration. Our TEDDY BEARS may never have made the acquaintance of our ACTION MEN, yet we recall them as being contemporaries.
Many of the replacements I've acquired over the last 35 years or so of toys, comics, or books of my youth, I've now had for many more years than I ever possessed the originals. One example is the first issue of the revamped SMASH! from 1969. I had it for 4 days at the most before selling it on to classmate BILLY MONTGOMERY. I'd intended to buy another copy before #2 hit the shops, but it was sold out, and over 15 and a half years elapsed before I managed to replace it. That was 33 years ago, but, incredibly, it doesn't feel like I've had the replacement for any longer than I had the original.
Which brings me on to this. When I was a kid and got a new toy, there seemed no reason why I wouldn't have it forever. Children sort of have the impression that they're immortal and that nothing is ever going to change. Not that theybelieve so on a conscious level, but the opposite scenario is an absent concept that never really occurs to them. Or, if it does, it seems like such a far-distant prospect that it's not one to be concerned with until many years in the future - a future that seems centuries away. That disappears as we age, and there comes a time when we become only all too painfully aware of our limited time on this spinning sphere.
I'm now at the stage where if I buy something now that I'll have for 20 or 30 years, my enjoyment is palled by the knowledge that, even though that span dwarfs any length of time I owned many of my childhood items, it'll still seem like only a mere fraction compared to the illusory lengthy periods of yesteryear. The fact that I'm now aware (unlike my teenage self) that the clock is counting down, casts a shadow over my pleasure in acquiring a new (or replacement) object, because the illusion of 'forever' is no longer part and parcel of the package. (Reality can be difficult to deal with.)
Anyway, once more I've indulged in off-the-wall streams of thought which may seem only tenuously connected, but hopefully you can get something worth contemplating out of it all. Let me know if you do, eh? It might help me to better convey what I'm trying to say. I often feel like I start out on a definite path, but then wander off into the woods on the way and never quite get back on track and complete the journey. Still, better to travel hopefully than to arrive, as some wise wag once said. (Robert Louis Stevenson I think.)
Footnote: The DALEK record is an example of what I'm talking about. I derive such enormous pleasure from simply owning this magnificent item, but it's a bitter-sweet experience because I'm all too aware that, even if I have it for the rest of my (hopefully long) life, it's still going to be all too-brief a time. Do any of you relate to that at all?