3 January 2023

Happy New Years

 Among my souvenirs.....

(Picture taken maybe twelve years - or so - ago....)

Well, here we go.  Another year, perhaps?  I'm not really sure, as I fell asleep on New Year's Eve well before Jools got going, and possibly I still haven't woken.  

And in my dreams I found myself rummaging through a curious assortment of souvenirs from my wasted past. No reason, nor rhyme, apart from this snatch a friend used to sing, but which I cannot remember in full:

A box of matches, and an old French letter,
A dose of syphilis that won't get better.....
[something else ti tum ti doodah]
These foolish things, remind me of you.....

I think the original is better.....?

My first winter in Rome, my mother wrote to me, announcing my brother's arrival:

And on New Year's Eve we watched all hell break loose from my flat window, people firing guns in the air, crates of empty bottles heaved down onto car roofs, all the detritus of the old year flung noisily away.  We tried to walk around the streets, but it was too dangerous, so we scuttled back inside.  Around five we heard the street sweepers start to clear up, and by daybreak the year was clean.  

[It's not like this any more - the rubbish builds all year and rarely gets picked up.]

In my dreams I think it would be good to sweep everything away, to wipe the slate, but then something comes to mind that is a treasure that I want to cling to, whether in an English winter:

Or an Italian spring:

If only we could be together again....


There's no going back, only snapshots of good times, and hazy memories of people and places, like when I went to Tivoli with mum and dad and there was a fox asleep on a pile of straw below our vantage point:

Or a summer visit to Lindsay and family in Kettering:

Or invitations to parties I have no recollection of at all:

Or invitations to parties that we held ourselves, though I don't remember much of them either!) except that I think Matt Frei came to this one:

[But not this one.....]

And Bob never came either:

Not even to my pub, which venture went swimmingly well....  for a while:

 In amongst the dust of my recollections, here's a card from Adrian Mitchell, who came to stay:

And one from Roger McGough who also visited:

And here's one from Vibeka, some time before she joined the BBC:

And here is a reminder that if we didn't send a postcard then there was always the Telegram (there certainly were no mobile phones):

This too was a post card, from Loretta, picturing Trevignano where we lived, though not quite as long ago as is seen in this picture.....

And on my way 'home' I might have stopped in Nice:

Or Paris:

Before chasing dreams with my mother in Dorset:

Where has it gone?  Does it have to be so sad?  Will New Years ever be as good?  Could they be better?  Right now I don't feel too hopeful:

But you never know....

You came you saw you conquer'd me
When you did that to me
I knew somehow this had to be
The winds of March that make my heart a dancer
A telephone that rings but who's to answer?
Oh, how the ghost of you clings!
These foolish things remind me of you

These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You)

Jack Strachey, Harry Link, Holt Marvell

1 comment:

  1. The missing line is: "And when I piss it stings", but I guess you really knew that, Richard. Anyway, Happy New Year, such as it is... a bit like the guy who threw himself off the top of the Empire State Building and, as he passed the 75th floor, was heard to say, "So far, so good."