Memories are made of this

I have some wonderful memories.  I consider myself one of the luckiest people I know.  I have met wonderful people, travelled up and down this great country visiting beautiful places seeing them at their best (and sometimes their worst) and have been involved in some great events making people happy for a few memorable hours on a sunny Spring Saturday like today. (It’s actually pissing it down in a force four wind on a freezing Yorkshire plain southeast of Doncaster, but it’s spring sunny Saturday in my soul)

The memories blend into a weave of wonder. In some bizarre and slightly macabre way I almost look forward to lying on my deathbed just to conjure them all up and to exist only in those memories.  Of course I also hope for a few more before I am ready for the final curtain call.  What performer is ever ready for that?

I was talking the other day to my friend in the early spring sunshine of Bristol Docks.  We recalled the strange and exciting trek she, Joe and I made to Greece overland to a series of gigs in Athens.  It must have been 1999. Even more oddly I was amazed at the memories she had of the trip.  She even recalled home made tomato sauce at a restaurant we stopped at in Serbia.  Now I hardly remember Serbia, let alone the restaurant… but the tomato sauce?  I am always impressed by my friends’ memory capacity.  I have another friend who can remember what I said twenty years ago.  For me it’s twenty minutes.  If I’m lucky.  So what is the difference? I’ve been pondering these things and have come up with some rather alarming conclusions.

A couple of weeks ago, those who read my blog religiously (it’s funny that use of the word isn’t it?) will have observed my self-analysis and the mini-crisis I went through.  It hasn’t gone away, just subsided somewhat.  However it has left me wondering about why I am so confused about those things, and a little more importantly why they caused me such anxiety, and I guess might again if I ever am in extremis again. Candidly and rather than beat about the bush, I wonder whether I was abused as a child and have blocked it out of my memory. And as a result my whole memory system suffers.

Now I know this may be a bit of a bombshell (lots of idioms today) but it’s a bit like that for me too.  I know it wasn’t at home.  Yes, Richard (my father) used to hit us occasionally and I do have some painful memories of those occasions, but I don’t think that’s it.  It would have been Christ’s Hospital.  That’s when I start to become anxious.  Even thinking about the place.  I’m not going to explore it further here, you may be relieved to know.  But there is definitely something happening in that part of my mind.  It may be just the antediluvian awfulness of that institution. Now thankfully changed but they were dreadful days and of course abuse of all kinds was rife in those cloistered cloisters.

The 64,000 dollar question (US game show 1955-58. Good old Wiki) is whether to open up the can of worms.  My instinct is no.  Let sleeping dogs lie.  (Enough metaphors already). But it does make me curious.  IS it worth exploring?  What would I gain? Would I get my memory back?  Do I want to?

I haven’t reached an answer to those questions and for now I’m going to leave them simmering on the back burner. (I thought I said enough).

Meanwhile I’ve a day’s damp shows to present.  Actually the stage is sheltered from the rain in a huge plastic pyramid.  One of those wonderful floating pvc palaces you sometimes see.  So the props and the audience stay dry but the sides are open and the wind dynamics of the structure are interesting.  The forecast says drier later so should be alright.  At night I am woken occasionally by roaring lions (really… I’m at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park).

Memories are made of this.

All the best from a road near you,

Mr Alexander
Mr Alexander