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Saturday, 11 November 2017
'TIMESLIP' - 30 YEARS AGO REVISITED...
A photo of the house from a few years ago, taken in passing
I had an interesting experience earlier tonight (Friday) and, because I know all you pantin' Criv-ites devour every word I type like ravenous wolves tearing into a mountain elk, I'm going to share it with you here. (Maybe some slight hyperbole there, but not much. Cough.)
30 years ago, when my family returned to the house in which I now live after four years living in another, I was overjoyed. I had never wanted to move from here in the first place, and to flit back fulfilled an ambition of mine. I never spared much thought to the new house we'd abandoned, but after around 20 years, my buried memories of our former abode started to resurface, and I developed a warmer and fonder regard for the place than previously.
A few years ago, I was looking for something in my loft, but couldn't find it, so began to wonder if I'd inadvertently left it behind the water tank in the loft of our former residence. I'd done the exact same thing before in 1972, and 19 years later, in 1991, I returned to what was then our previous residence and reclaimed the item from where I'd unknowingly left it. Could I have carelessly repeated the oversight. (Behind the water tank seemed to be my favourite place for storing certain things - not quite sure why to be honest. Because no one would look there perhaps?)
The thought started to grow in my brain like a canker, and a few weeks ago I decided to take the plunge and contact the new tenants/owners of the house we'd left back in 1987. I explained the situation and, surprisingly, they consented to allow me access to their loft to determine whether I'd left the item there or not. Whatever the result, at least I'd be free of the nagging doubt that assailed my brain.
In case you're wondering, the 'item' was a small cardboard box containing two diecast metal ships (can't remember whether they were by DINKY or TRI-ANG) of, I think, the QUEEN MARY and the QUEEN ELIZABETH, as well as two small wooden tops. I'd owned these items from the early '60s and was loathe to be without them, so if there was a chance of them still being in our old loft, I had to explore the possibility or never know peace.
Anyway, tonight was the night, but unfortunately, the item wasn't where I last remember it being. Either I did take it with me when I left, or perhaps the tenants between us and the present inhabitants found and disposed of it. However, it's a relief to know that it isn't lying up there abandoned and forgotten, and there's still a slim chance that it could be in a box somewhere in my current loft.
I can't finish without mentioning how welcoming the family who now own the house were, and how kindly they treated me. I was under no illusions as to just how weird my request might seem, so to be treated so well (being given tea and biscuits) was extremely heartwarming. It was strange to step foot in the house again after 30 years (I'd been back once, a fortnight after moving out, to collect an ironing board we'd left), but there've been quite a few changes made since then, so it doesn't have quite the same degree of the 'familiar' as previous former homes I'd revisited. (For an example of what I mean, click here.)
It was an odd feeling to say hello again and goodbye to the house for what was most likely the final time, but at least the place as I knew it yet exists in photographs I took when I lived there, and I can visit it again whenever I like in the hallowed halls of memory.