I wonder sometimes if I’m nostalgically melancholic or melancholically nostalgic.
The past may very well be a foreign country, but things were certainly done differently there because attitudes – and fashions – change as the years pass. That’s especially so as time goes by: “mass communication” is rife (though misnamed) now, so ideas good, bad and indifferent permeate the entire global community very, very quickly.
Alas, most of those ideas seem to me to be either bad or indifferent!
The concertina-effect on the passing of time as one ages means that one can recall whole decades all at once. My memory of times past is so, so detailed: I can mentally flick through the pages of my life with great ease and in often-minute detail, both trivia and important happenings.
And I miss those times – even the more difficult ones – so very, very much.
The tiredness and fretting I’ve experienced while Rosie’s been ill have made me more sentimental, too. She began this seemingly ever-changing illness at the beginning of December and it’s still dragging on. Fortunately, she does seem to be getting better day by day.
I won’t give details here but, yesterday, she had a barium X-ray, and there’s to be a sigmoidoscopy (look it up!) in a couple of weeks’ time.
This has been “the Winter of discontent” for us it seems. In the first week of December, our car’s wing-mirror was smashed by a passing car (which did not stop) whilst it was parked outside. That was the start of the troubles (challenges?).
TalkTalk – which took over the company which had taken over the original company which supplied out phone-line and broadband connection – charged me six quid more than it should have done for the November to December period. I phoned (a few times) to sort it out, became fed up of trying to sort it, asked for the MAC code.
The struggle I had getting that code, which I needed to change to BT, was too farcical to be truly annoying. TalkTalk’s operators even tried to sell me a mobile-phone SIM card whilst they were avoiding giving me that MAC code.
I got the code eventually, and BT took over our land-line and our broadband connection on 23rd December. Then, in early January, we lost both the phone and the broadband! I had to chase BT to get the whole thing sorted. They were so professional about the whole thing and the fault was traced to the cable connecting our home to a telegraph pole about thirty yards away.
We were without phone and only had spasmodic broadband for about ten days before that cable was renewed. It was more frustrating than enough.
All this during the dark evenings and late dawns of Winter.
When one receives so many “challenges” on the trot, one looks over one’s shoulder to see when the next one’s going to strike. And that’s when, with me, the memories of times long ago come to my mind.
They are memories of Dunstall Road and my Mom and Dad and lots of other people who have long-since passed on; of my rotten schooldays and early job experiences at Stafford Road Loco Repair Works in the great days of steam; of the whole growing up and often daft times when doing my National Service; of meeting and falling totally in love with Rosie; and of my whole life after meeting her.
And I would love to visit – only visit – many of those times and see how accurate my memories are. But I believe they are pretty exact.