Saturday, 4 October 2014

Tarmac and Time

My drive to work each day is one that takes me past the end of the road where I was born.

It passes the house of my school friend, where we used to throw snowballs at each other on the pavement (in my attic there is a lantern slide of us in our brown school uniforms and brown rubber wellies, with the snowy backdrop and crumbs of white flaking off our belted, gaberdine macs).

It goes under the (now rebuilt) rickety wooden footbridge I used to stand on when I was very little and see the cars disappear under my feet, and be in awe of the enormous steamrollers widening the carriageway.

It goes past the shopping parade that used to have the sweet shop, where I remember being on my white 'reins' that had a little lamb etched on in silver.  I remember feeling secure that a grown up was holding the other end,  I somehow knew it freed me from having to make any difficult decisions.

It goes past the wall my nineteen year old self and boyfriend sat and chatted into the night on one of our first dates - and of being blissfully happy in the moment.

It goes past the tower block that looks old and tatty now, but was just being built when we moved to the area.  How there used to be a Fine Fayre supermarket with the 'Fine Fayre gee gees' outside (the coin operated rocking horses), and most fabulously glamorous, some fountains set into the concrete forecourt.  A little splash of sophistication in an otherwise unremarkable area.

Nearer home is the park where another lantern slide shows me in a romper suit, the same height as a tulip, looking at it with great fascination.

Sometimes you know you are going to remember a moment forever, but occasionally the dust needs blowing off.  I don't know why some things stay lodged in the recesses of our minds, and other things evaporate into the ether, but I do know that driving through the past every day feels strangely comforting.

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