Motown; Woodstock; coloured pasta shells; a brown Vauxhall Nova; hand-written correspondence; scorers I could never be troubled to trouble; note-perfect barbershop harmonies; Shakespeare’s Sonnet 30; a long-leg fieldsman; a single-leg epidural; overshooting Newcastle and ending up in Scotland; the peal of church bells during a last-wicket run chase; a rucked-up tarmac path between two rows of bungalows; undergraduate nights spent reading anything that wasn’t on the syllabus; pints of Ward’s best sludge which I was, mercifully, never old enough to be served; not knowing one end of Edinburgh from the other; not knowing one end of a cricket bat from the other; a green-and-white rugby shirt complementing jeans with the customary hole in the crotch (check your photo); the coincidence of a Sixth Form Maths teacher who looked (to me) like Jesus after a fortnight in Marbella; former team-mates (Savage, Littlewood, Hammerton et al.) who are gone but never forgotten; the fact that Durham Cathedral is, and forever will be, York Minster sort of back to front (you’re smiling); listening to Phoebe Snow singing Every Night and howling along to it in the bath (you’re laughing); and, I hope, a sun that shines most brightly in the hour before it sets.
Yes, the rain man with the elephant’s memory remembers, you know; and he does so with unwavering fondness.
My friend, and all your tribe, this one is just for you (Figures 47.1 to 47.4).
Figure 47.1: Postcard from the past
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Figure 47.2: Spot the difference
Figure 47.3: The North East branch committee of Dark Glasses R Us, all clearly oblivious to the raincloudy sky, pictured the moment afore gannin doon te the booza. The blerk – sorry, bloke – far left is standing on a box, the one far right down a hole.
Figure 47.4: I remember a crescent in Venice ...
Copyright © 1993 Paul Spradbery
Copyright © 2012 Paul Spradbery