Thursday, November 23, 2006

Holly? Holly? I'm Shouting For Holly - Shout! Shout! Shout!

I took Daisy up to playgroup today up at the church hall. I was glad she was in one of her "Me do it on my own!" moods which meant we walked up. It was slow but it beats pushing her up that steep hill in her pushchair. The walk was especially slow today. Because it's autumn, there are an awful lot of interesting leaves lying around on the road, each one had to be looked at, picked up, carried for a few paces, then discarded as a more interesting leaf presented itself...

One of the first things I heard when we arrived at the hall was:

"Don't let any of the kids into the church. There's a coffin in there."

There was funeral later in the day and the body was already in place. We only knew this because one of the mums at the playgroup is the priest at the church and would be conducting the service later. Another of the Mums* is the village doctor. I really wonder how I got here. You see, time was - in my mispent youth, I used to drink like a fish, do all sorts of interesting chemistry experiments on my brain, conduct interesting physical exersizes (mostly horizontal) with all sorts of people, hang out with bands, artists, and all sorts of other people your mother wouldn't like - and here I am Xty years later watching my wee one playing with plastic food while I chat with the Vicar over a cup of coffee while there is a dead person in the next room.

Time does funny things.

All the certainties I had back then (not that I can remember any of them apart from the 'I'm never going to have kids' one) have all vanished. I've always been genuinely embarrassed by my younger selves. When I was a teenager I hated the child I had been. When I was a student I hated the teenager. And so on. My younger selves always seemed so gauche. Opinionated little nerks I was glad to outgrow.

I never had any blinding epiphanies where I cast off my previous selves with a cry of "I renounce thee!" but I always remember looking over my shoulder at myself thinking "did I used to think that? did I really used to like that band? did I really treat her like that?" You know the sort of thing; it's like looking in an old photo album (like Flickr, but in a book) and finding a picture of you wearing flares (or hotpants, ra-ra skirt, tank top, leg warmers or whatever. Imagine yourself wearing the most hideous fashion disaster to befall your generation.)

I've lost the plot...

....oh yeah! I realised today that I hadn't done that for a long time. Looked back and cringed at my previous incarnations. For one thing I've been too bloody busy for any self-indulgent introspection, and for another I seem to have been happy with myself and my life for quiet a long time now.

I just thank the gods I never had a mullet or wrote poetry.

*I say 'Mums' deliberately, not 'parents', because I am usually the only male over four years of age who goes. I have no idea where all the other men are. Out slaying mammoths or something equaly testosteroney.


Phoebe J. Southwood said...

Please please please post a dated picture of yourself!

Junk Monkey said...

God no!

How to loose friends and disinterest people 101.

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