Yesterday, as the day drew to a close, the sun set on my old primary school grounds, now currently a building site.
Old sites; new sites: in the end they all slip into darkness.
Speaking of Time: posted three years ago.
Time, please be gentle.
A while ago, on Facebook, I stumbled across this photograph of my old Swedish friend Agnetha Fältskog, taken from the first Abba Greatest Hits album of 1975. If you look closely, you will see that inserted into her hand is a copy of her last solo album, A, released in 2013. Both albums, both images, separated by thirty-eight years, stand, in a way, like chronological bookends of a linear journey. Of her linear journey, along that particular period of her life. In between, of course, much has changed. For better, or for worse. Such is life.
I like to think that the photoshopping artist, whoever he or she may be, has, like I, a penchant for both history and continuity, similarly casting an appreciative eye over the progressive journey, yet, also, being cut to the quick by the unstoppable, winnowing effect of time itself.
There is a song on Agnetha’s…
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From 2014, the 70th anniversary.
Today, as I am sure you will be aware, is the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. I intend to watch the many programmes commemorating the event today, my thoughts no doubt turning to my two Grandfathers who took part in history’s largest ever land invasion. I know next to nothing of their own, personal D-Day stories. I know very little of their time during the war full stop. Like so many, it appears that they didn’t speak too much about it. And by the time my own curiosity had grown, it was too late.
One of them died of cancer before I was born, the other died when I was twenty years old, at a time when I had yet to fully develop my great interest in history, and in particular my own family history.
I do wish I had asked. Either them, or other older relatives who may…
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A memory reblog-my daughter has recently turned ten years old. This was from when she turned eight.
My daughter turned eight years old today. On greeting her and wishing her ‘Happy Birthday’ this morning, she told me that she said a prayer last night in bed:
“Thank you for being seven, and thank you for all my remembers.”
I loved that last bit-thank you for all my remembers. Her way of summing up the past twelve months of her life, all of the memorable moments in the cavalcade of chronological events.
The other day I was watching her younger brother James from the kitchen window. He was out in the garden, studying a bird perched in a tree above him. He was serious and rapt, the hint of the handsome man he will be painted there on his face, and I found myself confessing a sad, wistful thought to myself:
I wish I was younger.
I have four children, and their arrival into the world was spaced…
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Thought I would share this from last year’s New Year’s Day. I started this year much as I did in 2016: having a brew stood on the step, watching the rain and a gliding gull overhead. But last year I went on to make a sad discovery in the local woods.
I sat outside in the back garden with a hot cup of tea, coat fastened, watching the milky coming of dawn. I can do this as I don’t drink these days, my New Year’s Day vigil no longer debilitated by the night before.
All of the neighbouring houses were in darkness, the windows dark, sightless eyes. There was no sign of life at all. Human life, that is.
The morning was scored by the constant rattle of a magpie, hidden from view. They nest in a huge tree beyond one of the houses, but the tree appeared bare, empty both of leaves and birds.
The call went on. Perhaps the chatter-rattle was bird-talk for come on-it’s morning!
In the spring and summer I plant flowers for the birds and bees, then switch my allegiance to the birds in autumn and winter, putting out food at dawn and dusk. I hadn’t…
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The post that was Freshly Pressed two years ago, gaining me close to a thousand new followers: family, connections, generations and ghosts.
If walls could talk.
If concrete could confess.
If soul could seep through cement.
If only one of those monochrome apparitions could reach out and take me by the hand, leading me into a world of smoke and ale and revelation.
The woman stood by the door on the right of the picture is my great grandmother. The two little girls are my grandfather’s older sisters. The guy on the far left, in the bowler hat, is my great grandfather. The other two younger men could be family, I don’t know. Will probably never know. Posing with a football and a trophy of an unknown triumph, they remain silent, anonymous ghosts. Enigmas of imagination.
The building itself, its very brick and mortar, contains more than can be revealed in a two dimensional image. It contains that which is valued in meaning.
Ancestors of mine dwelt in that place between 1901…
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These are two of my children, filmed a couple of years ago doing an improvised ‘Exterminate’ song. (Yes, they are Whovians like their father.)
This is the only video that they have posted onto Youtube, and go crazy every time they get a like or a share over there. If any of you guys can do that, take pleasure in picturing me here in Manchester reaching for the paracetamol!
You may want to turn the volume down a touch. See you on YouTube.