Saturday, 31 March 2012

Image 52 - Week 13... going Back to the Future.. and The Red Devils..

The Flux Capacitor.., M1 and 70mph..  and making peace..

It's been a funky week for this lil' ole white boy..; I first programmed the mind machine to go back to the 80's..; I've already done the 90's, but the 80's were next.. I had no idea I was eventually going all the way back to Henry Street, the rail crossing... and way, way before the skin tight lime green flares, navy pin-striped Oxford Bags and white platforms were items found in my wardrobe...
The Lake..
 Emotionally driven with the sight that greeted me, I parked, paid my one pound for a couple of hours and walked the 2.5 mile scenic path round the lake; I seem to remember it as being a dark and scary place, but it was infact quiet, calming and really, quite honestly., pretty scenic.. The 130 acre reservoir with distant clear views of the Pennines brought back some weird stuff  but man it was freaky, surreal and definitely played games with my insides.. Heck guys, even the old Ice Cream truck selling 99's was parked in the same darn place.., but phew, at least it was a modern one 'cause that would have been too freaky deaky..
From where the Alice sailed..
The rowing club that's been in continuous existence since 1872.. and looks it, was still there too.. .. 
It was here that I remember walking (head down) into a lamp post on the way to ride the dodgems.. and this was at a time when England won the World Cup.; I'd set my time machine way back to the 60's man..; or, dare I say it, there may have even been a 50's moment.. NO., couldn't have..; damn that flux capacitor and 70mph.. I went back seven decades and all I intended ever doing was knocking a bloody door..!!

Ok, I know I need to take in a writing class because I jump around a bit, or maybe that's what folk call editing.. an' I don't do any on here..; what's the deal anyway with all this beginning, middle and s&*t..? 

Art easels, plein air.. and..

the light’s changed and along with it was the sight of my first plein air painter (this year.!) working from the sand with the island in full view..; yep, I had to stop, just for a moment though simply to make sure I wasn’t seeing things and to take it all in.. You can’t be sure these days whether it was just my imagination., or those were real paint brushes.. and with the smell of linseed oil.. and French ultramarine filling my senses., I hit the brakes hard..
thoughts of light and friends..
I wonder why when driving with the window open and arm resting on the door, music cranked up.., that one drives faster.. ? It seems the foot gets heavier man.. and somewhere in the middle of nowhere I hit all the right notes and am lyric perfect too.. ; I'm just hoping I don't have a nasty surprise photo landing on my mat proving I may have exceeded the speed limit by a mere mile per hour.. once or twice.. Those cameras are everywhere..

Back to the time machine..

I left the M62 at the correct exit.. and was met by a roundabout I hadn't been on since Moses parted the sea.. AND a first moment hit me..; I've never thought about this roundabout at all, period, never., ever, NEVER.., ever since I left it at the end of the 70's and probably never thought it about it during my long haired perm years either, ten years before.., BUT at about 11.00am on Thursday morning, 2012, I had a moment.. ; it's now got traffic lights on it, but this roundabout offered me a moment. I ran out of petrol in my J registered 1970 Daytona Yellow MG when I was about 17.; I managed to push my tiny sports car to what was then a grassy central reservation where I wondered what I was going to do next..; pre cell phones and miles away from civilisation I managed to get my dad to come to my much embarrassed rescue.. I mean, how the heck did it all go down (?), I was miles from anything.. First ff fluxing stop.. and the memory of running out of gas..; I've never run out of gas since..

I was now on a surface I hadn't been on in years and certainly way before blogging was even a creative thought and before Zuckerberg was even born...  and here I was relying on a satellite navigation unit to get me around. I was lost in mid street., then I turned a corner and suddenly wasn't.; technology was helping me, then my memory kicked in while on mid roundabout.. and I was lost again.. Surreal stuff.. My eyes darting all over the place as I drove, window down with even the radio tunes being old school.. and the caller didn't recognise The Stylistics as being the answer to win her radio prize..; I was screaming "it's the Stylistics, it's the bloody Stylistics"., alas, she proved that she lived in a more modern era than the old guy driving..

I had to stop at a set of lights, first car and wondered where the devil I was and looked over into the car alongside and felt I was in a foreign land.. My mind and emotions were all over the place and before I knew it, the lights turned to green and I had to move from my frozen moment.. 'They'd' now put a set of lights and roundabout where there was originally a simply yield...; I remembered racing from the yield in the brown VW Storm I had at that time and feeling the front wheel drive car getting lighter under acceleration as it took off under the heavy right foot I walked with for most of my youth.. I also remember the hill from which I learned to do my first hill start in the Triumph Toledo I was eventually to pass my drivers test (first time) in on that Wednesday, November 21st.. Geez., what the eff..!!

I turned onto a familiar road with the same pub guarding it's entrance, but from the strange dual carriageway  I had been on for a few minutes only to find my heart beating a little faster in anticipation of the next mile.. and there it was..; I drove by  to find some things haven't changed.., well except for the old soccer pitch I remember scoring a few goals on that now had floodlights on it.. At that time, the only thing it used to have on it other than young soccer players, was a herd of cows that grazed on it to keep the surface 'trimmed'.. Wow., floodlights eh..?

Some of the buildings looked kinda sad.., lots more roundabouts and speed bumps..; more and more sign posts and those strange windows and frontal dressings that people think positively affect the kerb appeal of their homes... The same pubs and a total mixture of some things not having changed a bit, while other things have been altered for all time.. Not all of it good, but more than likely having to be changed due to the growth from tiny village to large village.. Even our old shop had been reverted to a home, along with it's new third floor.. I noticed some legs sunbathing from the tiny terraced door that opened directly onto the sidewalk, just a meter from the strange road I was driving on.. and thought.."hmm., yep., the UK"..

Turning around I noticed The Globe was still there.. and so to was the Village Hall I rehearsed in for my part in Arsenic and Old Lace.. Scary stuff man..

Without missing a beat I was off and outta there.., only to be met with traffic lights that confused me, but yet also made total sense.. I made my right turn and thought this hill surely was longer and much steeper when I was a kid than it now appeared..; holy cow, I remember a friend's tree house built in that tree too., I thought...

On with the journey..

 Yep, I had to stop for the train crossing and noticed the woman walking under the tracks where I recall getting buzzed to the sounds and vibrations of trains gently rolling over the top of my head.. ; I had to park somewhere just to have that experience again.. and did.., although now the ten meter long or so subway was littered with broken bottles and a lifetime of garbage..; again, I remember it as being dark and kinda scary, but in reality was well lit as it was only the width of a single train track... Funny how time plays romantic games with your memory.. and now, as a man, the things that would scare me as a kid, proved to be no more than a simple subway..

On the other side of the tracks lay my old primary school, much bigger now to accommodate it's 400 kids and extended, but the original building with hall entrance and two classrooms stood to remind me of where I learned to tell the time and where I played the good old British Bulldogs (?) game in the play ground.. Yep, this was proving to be a trip to another world and another life.. 
I had to go in, but as an old geezer, were they going to let me in..? I excitedly approached the admin' office and asked the question and was met with a hesitant and extremely suspicious 'yes'.., however, using a simple family name, the doors were immediately opened for me along with a 'just a minute, I have to go let someone know you're here'.. and I was introduced to two teachers who had been taught by my uncle and aunt (and my Aunt's in her mid 90's now).., way back when.. Emotional and weird...  A moment in the old hall, now changed into a couple of classrooms reminded me of a primary school play I was in and the lines I purposely forgot..; but how the heck could I remember this stuff.., I was only about 5 or 6 and this is before The Beatles had a number one hit..!!

Yes, I've finally discovered that I've got a past..; I swear I've often wondered if infact I did.. and here it was.., in living colour and on a sunny day, 2012..

Hah., and there was my grandparents old home., for sale and of all moments, the current home owner opening the door..; was this a sign..? Across the road was the hall where I attended Sunday School and next door was where my Grandfather operated out of a tiny, dark little shop as the local village cobbler..; tons of memories and then there were the fire lighter sticks my grandmother let me play pick up sticks with and the tiny handled glass she left on the window ledge for me when I used to race into her kitchen for a drink and piece of freshly made Parkin.. Hmm, and the dark coal cellar they had that I never went down..
The fish and chip shop I used to stop in on every Friday night after my Boys Brigade meetings was still a fish and chip shop, although now a Chinese Fish and Chip shop.. which brings me up to the car park and lake.. and the window I used to sleep behind..

Yep., this week is about nostalgia, trips back and for making peace perhaps before I move forward again.. Some thing's never change of course, while other things aren't quite as I remember them; distance and size is different as is the the way of life I've been exposed to.. 
'I've' understood more of that after my journey through time. and have simply moved on.. and am happy with that.. I guess I've been inspired this week as a result of going back and inspired to continue with the forward motion instinctive to my personality trait. It's been good to knock on a door and the particular door I knocked on was a relatives I hadn't seen since I had that permed hair, yellow MG and ran out of gas..; older, wiser (?) and with family, I sat in a room that was usually reserved for visitors.. and which was once home to a favourite Uncle and Aunt and now home to a cousin.. The look on my cousins face as he opened the door, with a cell phone in one hand, was one of pure shock as his telephone conversation was obviously interrupted and yet, the smile and greeting was priceless.. 
The Flux Capacitor did it's thang and for that moment going back to the future was the best thing I've done in quite a while.. 

... Northern history..
The final part of my journey was when I set my mind back to the local town's soccer ground and the first game and ground I went to with my Father and grandfather.. I drove into the car park and again knocked on the club admins office door where I simply asked if it was ok to take a walk out onto the pitch, take some photos and enjoy another moment from my past.. The young admin' opened the door with a warm welcome and smile before escorting me to another time...
I was 'asked' and encouraged to leave the football club's night club there while celebrating my birthday a lifetime ago after  rather enthusiastically enjoying a cocktail or two ..., probably around my 18th., I think.. That Football ground held one or two memories for me also and yet I never got to walk through the corridors of English League Football before and here I was, walking out of the home tunnel with the green, green grass of home laying infront of me..

I've seen the world since those days... and perhaps I'm a little clearer with my path from spending the day walking in those old footprints...I'm around my own personal history at the moment and excited now to embark on a new future complete with the knowledge that I once ran out of gas in a yellow MG...

Hmm., I guess colour, sense of space and moments in time really are themes with my blog...; perhaps it's all about embracing one's past and the journey forward (?), but I'm inspired by stepping back to now turning another new page in the ongoing story of life...

Holy cow, I've no idea what pics to post that reflect the emotions I've lived while dealing with Image 52's Week 13.., but here goes..

.. choice to jump and freedom to fly....
I chose to jump and I choose to fly... an' I returned from the past to the here and now...

and if you got to this point of Week 13., thanks for reading..

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