Last week I sneaked up to my fathers attic room to rummage through some of the old snaps. My sister seems to have gotten her little paws on the good ones before me. But there were a few ones there that brought back memories of when I was a teenager. These are the lost years of my life. All I seemed to do when I was that age was sleep and work or listen to music in my room!!! Years of listening to Dave Fanning on the radio between the hours of 8 and 10 when I was supposed to be studying for exams or something.
One of the main reasons for my foraging of photos is to rekindle memories of the past that sometimes get locked away or lost over time. 2 years ago my dad sold the family home to move to a more modern low maintenance house. It enabled him to be close to my sister and for him to be able to have a sense of security with the passing of time. The area he lives in now is a nice quiet neighborhood and he seems to have settled into his new home with an ease that has surprised us all!!
Our old home…the place I grew up in has been redeveloped to a point where the old house was gutted and new apartments and houses were added to the side entrance where our cars used to be parked. Friars Walk is the place I spent all of my childhood….an abundance of moments..memories…tears… happiness …Christmas cheer…family…mother …father …brothers….sister… This is the place where I slept and contemplated life…sitting in our back garden during the Summer holidays listening to music…..gardening with my father….cutting the lawn…hedges to be trimmed…..hanging out with friends…birthday barbecues…..listening to stories that my mother told us of her youth…hanging out the washing….listening to the nearby pub The Tavern for the chants from the Celtic fans….
In springtime we painted that house till it shone….wallpapered it till we could wallpaper no more….ate our dinners during school lunch breaks…watched TV till it came out our ears….shared our hopes and fears….studied for school and college….falling asleep on the couch after manys the hard night out… listening to our mother warning us to get home early….walking through the door the next day to be greeted by the shaking of the head…the complexities of youth were solved in this home that we loved…..so close to the city ….. a hop, skip and a jump as it were…. a safe haven for us all to meet during the best of times and the worst….memories of my mother in every room that will never be replaced…..her voice in every room….sitting with her during her monumental conversations with my Auntie Lena that could last for hours…talking about people who had died and those who were on the way out…conversations that lasted for aeon’s…..the smoke filled kitchen….Sweet Afton or Players packets…trying to be quiet while my father slept after shift work….those wonderful moments that I will always cherish!!!
There are also the moments that you try to forget, but doesn’t everyone go through tough times in a family… the loss of a mother so young of age and heart. It was the house that kept her memory alive for me……. long after she had gone to meet her maker, but now we all have moved out over time and cleansed ourselves of the building and place that was our glue for so long. Sometimes I think about it and feel that it was a great thing for all of us that my father did move out,. It must have been harder for him to sit on his own in that house with so many memories. He needed that cleansing more than any of us!! You can never erase those special moments that each of us hold dear…house or no house. Maybe that is why I have the need to gather up those photographs of another time …..as a simple reminder…a jolt of lightning that casts a shaft of light over some of the memories of my past.
There was a lot of extensions added to the house in those early years…here I am with my sister and brother….
This is one my mother and I…. me learning to walk for the first time…precious moments!!!