Saturday, 17 July 2021


When you're in your early 20s, you feel as if you've been around forever and can't even conceive of a time when you didn't exist.  You know there was, of course, but it just doesn't feel like it.  (The same thing could probably be said whatever age you happen to be - at least in my own experience.)  I'd lived in five different houses by the time I was 20, and due to the furniture being the same from house-to-house, they all had pretty much the same ambience.  In memory, therefore, those houses (the four I remember anyway, as I was only one-and-a-half when we moved from the first one) are preserved in amber, as there were no significant changes in their furnishings during our time of residence in them.  (The occasional addition, but no deletions.)

When I first moved to my current home it was the same, but eventually (several years in) some furniture was disposed of and replaced, and the house now no longer preserves the 'vibe' it once had, the interiors having evolved a different look and feel to that of my earliest years here.  It now has a different 'personality' (while still retaining a few remnants of its old one), and its current ambiance no longer precisely matches that of any of our previous residences.  I therefore often find myself casting my mind back to earlier times, which isn't difficult considering the sheer volume of replacement toys, books, comics, and records I've managed to obtain that remind me of my early days.

When my gaze falls upon those doppelganger items from yesteryear, I find myself yearning to return to those times and places, and since the majority of my collection reminds me of one house in particular, I tend to find the notion of one day moving back there quite an attractive proposition, because they'd all be 'at home'.  The only trouble with that though, is that I'd be bound to miss the houses before and after whenever I looked at items that preceded and followed my residence in the home under discussion.  So while I'd feel I belonged there whenever I looked at an issue of Fantastic or Terrific, I'd most likely feel out of place when I looked at a copy of MWOM or SMCW.

As I've said before somewhere, it's a case of missing what you don't have, but if you reacquire it, you then miss something else.  I miss my previous houses because I no longer live in them, but if I were to move back to one, I'd miss the others - including the one I currently inhabit.  That's why I moved back here 34 years ago after living elsewhere for over four years, having previously stayed here for 11 - I missed it and wanted to try and turn the clock back.  Now, strangely, I even miss the house I left to return here, though I didn't at the time - it took around 17 or 18 years for that feeling to finally kick in.

Anyway, I began this post several hours ago before getting distracted by other things, so I've now forgotten precisely where I intended to go with this.  All I know is that whenever I look at one group of toys or comics, the prospect of again living in the house I inhabited when I first got them seems extremely appealing to me, but having lived in a number of houses in my lifetime, I feel the same way about every former abode whenever I look at or handle other groups of items first acquired during my terms of residence in them.

I suppose posts like this aren't fair on you poor Crivvies, due to the fact that if I don't quite know what I'm trying to say, then you can't be expected to either.  Hopefully you'll be able to make something out of it.    


Philip Crawley said...

I think that you are an exeptional case, in terms of memories of posessions and where you were when acquiring your assorted items, on account of having moved backwards and forward between the same residences and having hung onto much of the same furniture.

When I look at the various items that I bought back in the 70s I am more inclined to recall where I bought them, as I've lived at four different addresses since leaving my family home and where I now reside. Although having said that, those that arrived via mail order do have me picturing them on the front doorstep after their delivery at the old family home.

The mind is a funny thing in the way that our attempts to deal with memory are processed and manifest in our thoughts in terms of those memories, particulary when it comes to associations. My strongest associations relate to music, where and when I was located on first playing a particular album. Especially those acquired back in the 70s, 95 percent of which I still have in my possession on vinyl.

Another thought-provoking post, thanks.

Kid said...

And another though-provoking comment, PC, so thanks for that. I'm glad there's someone out there who understands what I ever so inadequately try to say. One day I'll hopefully get it right. Like you, I often remember where I bought an item - and sometimes even who was with me at the time - but as I get older I'm finding that a few 'associations' have fallen through the cracks in my memory's floorboards. Some days I find that I can't recall a particular thing, but on other days I can. Strange, eh?

Colin Jones said...

"That's why I moved back here..."

So, Kid, it was YOUR decision to return to your former house? You've never explained that before - I assumed it was your parents' decision and you went with them. Moving from a house you lived in for 11 years and then returning to that same house four years later is both peculiar and fascinating!

Kid said...

It's a long complicated (and boring) story, CJ, but my parents decided to find another house, though it was MY decision (and one to which they were in agreement) to move back to our former one when it became available for a mutual swap at around the same time. In the process I had to fork out mucho money in order to facilitate the process in certain quarters.

I only fairly recently found old letters from the council which show that my father was looking for somewhere else after we'd been in that other house for only around a year.

McSCOTTY said...

I have to say that in my 20s I never felt I had been around forever , but I certainly feel like that now.

Although there's no harm in it, I have to say I find in strange to comprehend your need/wish to retain these memories by moving to previous homes with the same furniture etc. Do you think that makes the memory more real or any stronger than say my memory of when I for example bought Mighty World Of Marvel issue 1? ( as that was for me 3 family homes and 3 houses on my own ago).

Do you also feel that link to new possessions/ homes ( ie buying the 2010 Beano annual for example) or is that memory only strong within a certain age band. How do you think you would have reacted if your dad had moved to a new house as in your reply to Colin, would that house have been added to the " memory list" and a need to revisit/ own it again?.

Kid said...

I suppose what I meant when I said that I felt I'd been around forever was that, not being able to pinpoint a specific beginning to my life (except in an 'academic' way with a date, not in the sense of being aware when consciousness first dawned), I felt I'd 'always been'.

I'm not sure that it's an actual need or wish to return to my old homes, McS, more a notion that it MIGHT be one way of seemingly turning back time, or simply regaining a feeling of belonging where I once felt I belonged (if that makes any sense). I feel the same for every house, so it really wouldn't work unless I had all of them, and could take turns living in whichever one I felt like it whenever the fancy took me.

"Today, I'll relive 1965 to 1972 in the house I lived in during that period" sort of thing. I don't know if that would make each set of memories stronger, but perhaps it would make them feel closer - or is that the same thing? That's a good question about how I'd feel if we'd moved to another house. It would depend, of course, on whether living somewhere else was a positive or negative experience.

When I moved back here, I did so without a thought for the house we left and was glad to be gone from it (which was a first, as I'd never flitted before without some sadness to be leaving), but around 17 or 18 years later, I somehow developed a nostalgic affection for that house, which is kind of strange.

Maybe I just miss the past, whatever period of the past it happens to be. And maybe it takes a bit of time for me to miss it, possibly because it's all too fresh in the immediate aftermath. Or maybe I'm just bonkers. However, to try and be more specific in regard to your last question, I think I probably would have, but couldn't say for certain as it wasn't an actual experience, only a possible one that never happened.

Hell's bells, McS - you're stretching my brain tonight.

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