We are all time travellers.
Once upon a time, I visited 1970’s world. There were boys with prams and buildings going up. One young lad had to shout through the vent in the pantry to invite the builders to tea. That vent was out into the new utility room. The new utility room has vanished into the midst of time.
Once upon a time, I visited 1980’s world. Books and pamphlets stood above my mother and father’s bed. Sickness. I had a wee look at the pamphlets. Ice Ages combined with the occasional asthmatic panic. A panic brought on by the Wizard Merlin.
Inevitably, there were spuds on the go and everyone fought about who had to turn on the dinner. In my mind, Gareth never turned on the spuds. He was always busy? However, all of us combined to create the perfect Vesta Curry. For dessert? Gareth ate the jellies from the packet. He also came up with the Custard Challenge. It all revolved around the idea that waiting for custard to heat is boring. Why don’t we put some custard powder in our mouth and swill it with a wee bit of cold milk. Perfect. I had so much fun doing the Custard Challenge in the Old School. I will never do it again.
All of the certainties and uncertainties of 1980’s world now seems like a distant planet to me. Several caveats. Every step I took through school and the friendships that were forged there. I remember every inch of that school. The shop where I worked. I can click my fingers and transport myself back to many formative moments, like buying T-Rex records in Portstewart. An extremely important memory. The dark and dismal elements of that decade, with Paul Clark delivering the news on this and that attack, with soldiers landing in the car park and helicopters hovering, definitely feels like a distant world to me. Thank goodness. There was, of course, the lighter moments, like the time that the soldiers knocked at the window and asked for a cup of tea. Gareth was busy. I was over the back wall as fast as possible to see what the ever dependable May would recommend. She said, ‘Send them around to me.’ She had trays and teacups waiting.
And if time itself would reach into the furnace of future possibilities and point to a direction, I imagine that it would indicate the following; ensure that that the young enjoy their formative years.
I had the most amazing class today. The Year 8’s were sooooo happy. I have no idea why?
I have one answer. They are all time travellers. Their journey has just begun.
The baggage they hold is a lot lighter.
They have every chance of success.
And if time allows you to conquer and hold one second, try and remember the journey that has propelled you through time.