Monday, May 31, 2010

Hanging Out My Old Love Letters……

Writing about the past has sent me scurrying to the Hallett Archive. Hidden away from my memory in the de personalising room.
Trying to put a time frame to things I did in the sixties means I need to look for clues.
I have thought about asking other people but I’m not so sure about this. Memories are cherished on both sides. Hearing the other version sometimes interrupts my own. Worse still it sometimes corrects it and that will never do. It feels like someone stealing treasure.
The other day for instance. I was out on the island visiting a vintage rally. Men, and possibly women as well though I feel they are generally far more sensible, were lovingly polishing details on machines that, lets face it, were past their sell by date. How amazing that we have come by enough leisure and riches to let us preserve a free standing single cylinder Bambleweeny cardoom chopper in perfect working order. Safe in the knowledge as well that Gisons of Nempnett Thrubwell still do spares and offer a comprehensive after sales service.
Such a long way from guarding the cave mouth in case the bears try to steal the haunch of mammoth.
Admiring rows of the exhibits I eventually came to the tractors chanced across the fine fellows above. I wouldn’t mock people who get excited by tractors, but then again I wouldn’t count myself foremost among their rank. These Massey Fergusons however brought a hidden tractor geek in me straight to the surface. A glorious 35X, a 135, and a 165. Back at the end of the seventies I spent weekends and summers working farms on the Cotswold escarpment. These three, restored to the point that you would think they had never done a days work in their lives, gleaming red perfection, were all tractors that I remember driving. A nostalgia overcame me to the point that I felt someone else had to be told.
As She Of The Townhouse had wandered off to the ‘Bad Mother’ stall in search of supplies for witches she was unable to share my excitement. I decided to phone my old friend Jim. Better he than she as we shared those times. He would remember them just as clearly as I. Jim would understand.
After listening a while though he corrected me.
“Strictly speaking Fred that should be a 185 and not a 165….”
I felt quite deflated.


Rich said...

~ We do not remember days; we remember moments. ~ Cesare Pavese
The pictures you paint Meredic are mesmeric...and the unraveling of your stories are brilliant.

Mike said...

You wrote:
"Worse still it sometimes corrects it and that will never do. It feels like someone stealing treasure."

How true, and perfectly expressed. So many of my treasured childhood memories have been stolen in this way because I recounted my recollections to one of my elder siblings.