Saturday, 30 May 2009

A Blast from the Past


Christmas. Probably 1981. Living in a flat on the second floor of a terraced house in St John's Way, Islington. The 'landpeople', Martin and Margo, live downstairs. I work as a Care Assistant. I am a lazy skinhead. I smoke. I have appalling dress-sense and a bit of a beer-gut (when I stand up), not helped by the fact that my limited selection of t-shirts usually gets shrunk in the wash, along with my cardigans. I live in a dream, always in the Then, hardly ever in the Now. Certain of things. The poster. You can't see it all. It's a soldier being shot, with the text 'Why?' in one corner. It's not the famous Cappa shot. Is it posed? The question didn't occur to me then. I wouldn't put it on the wall now. I still feel the impulse which led me to do so but something about being older perhaps, thinking more about what it would be like for the man, stops me. The blue box is full of mainly classical records, waiting for the day I can afford to buy a record player. There is an old, white telephone. The star on top of the tree is home-made.

I found this photo the other week and thought I might post it. I was nudged into doing so by a collection of old photos -including a similar photo- on John Hayes' blog, Robert Frost's Banjo. I mention this as I'd hate to be held solely responsible for inspiring a meme, but 200 words, let's say, written in the present tense about an old photo of oneself seems quite a good one to pass on.

25 comments:

John Hayes said...

Cool post, & the 200 words re: an old photo of oneself is a great idea. Thanks for the mention, too.

Niamh B said...

That is a good idea, but how come you only had a beergut standing up? Mine always looks worse sitting down...

The Weaver of Grass said...

What is so amazing - I thought it was a photograph of Dan!
I like the idea of the 200 words on an old photograph - shall post one within the next few days - already have the photograph in mind.
It is funny what age does to one's thinking, isn't it? I seem to have gone, over the last couple of years, into a state where I don't get VERY upset about anything any more. When one begins to see one's contemporaries dying off then one begins to realise that all things are transitory and things which appear to matter a lot in the long run matter very little.

Dave King said...

An excellent bit of reminisce, and wonderfully well written. Good idea, too. I might even get around to it!

The Weaver of Grass said...

P.S. I read that you are a "skinhead" - if so, what is that on your head - the cat?

Rachel Fox said...

Yes what kind of skinhead do you mean..?
x

Totalfeckineejit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lyn said...

Now, is that your hair, or a hat? Either way, it's quite handsome.. Maybe we don't put up posters any more because we no longer think they will change the world..
Thank you!

BarbaraS said...

That's a great read Dominic - and how much you've changed and grown. I'm intrigued by other peoples memories especially when they're caught in a photo like this. My favourite phrase is: "A lazy skinhead." In other words, too lazy to get your hair cut!

Even the word verification thinks it's a good phrase: cranato

Poetikat said...

Of course I write these sorts of things all the time on my "Blasts From the Past" blog, Dominic, but rarely do I post a photograph, so I think I may do it on "Keepsakes". I'll have to connect my scanner to my new laptop first, though.

Question: How could you be a skinhead with that head of hair?
Love the blue record case.


Kat

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for dropping by everybody. Just to answer the question that keeps popping up: Barbara got it! By "lazy skinhead" I meant one who could never get round to going to the barber's.

patteran said...

Excellent, Dominic! Some of us had a go at this meme-around-a-youthful-photo idea some years back. 'Portrait of the Artist as a Young Prat' was the official title, I believe. I shall now seek out the least flattering pic I can find. Go to it, everyone...

Dick

Poetikat said...

I get it now! I was pseudo-punk with dyed hair, BUT never stripped with peroxide, so I could always return to my "roots".

Kat

Sorlil said...

I love the picture, the cardigan, all the details in the background, so reminicent of the time.

Get Off My Lawn! said...

Wow. You were a subversive. They would have arrested you in the States. Or at least you would have been watched by the FBI. I admire that. Put the poster up. "Why?" is just as valid today as ever.

Susan said...

What a great photo--and I love hearing all those detailst that otherwise I might not have even noticed. Last year sometime I discovered a box of old photos, started looking, and at some of them I just laughed and laughed. Our rooms looked like museums, compared to now!

Poet in Residence said...

proverbial 1,000 words

you have 800 left

Elizabeth said...

Ah, how dated and strange.
But very interesting
This was a fascinating post.

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for dropping in, everybody. Patteran's young men with their ciggies are worth a look, as is The Weaver of Grass' little girl. Any more old photos out there?

Frances said...

I have to agree with you on your comment about dress sense ...

Niamh B said...

I've done it! my blurry blast from 10 yrs ago is up there now, thanks again for the gr8 idea.

Rachel Fox said...

I put one up today too.
x

hope said...

Thanks to Rachel I've arrived back here at the scene of the crime...I mean challenge.

So many memes are silly..this one was not only FUN but enlightening too! Thanks for helping me "get to know" so many folks.

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for dropping by, all. Good to see the idea has caught on!

Ann oDyne said...

Pleased to meet you DR.
(Boynton led me here.)

How good life was for you - getting enough beer, honest employment, a tree, a star symbolising the path to A Good Thing, greeting cards, mobile music container, and a poster to remind you that there are Other Lives out there; and this post to remind us that in the intervening decades, the death of that man (and the effect on his killer) has changed nothing at all.