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A Long Forgotten Memory

One of the more unsettling aspects of getting older is that you occasionally come across things in your mind which have not surfaced in decades.  In an instant you are transported back to an embyonic version of yourself and the world you then lived in, without any of the softening that comes with repeated remembering.  This happened to me just after New Year in 1990 as I was driving back down from my parent's house in the north of England.  I had the radio on and Jimmy Saville was playing hits from the 1960's.  As I was passing Milton Keynes he played a children's record from 1963 about a train, probably "The Little Engine that Could".  It immediately  took me back to my pre-school world, the living room of our council house, me playing on a maroon sleeping bag laid out on the floor while my mother was ironing clothes, the atmosphere warm and steamy.  I remember my younger self being excited by and caught up with the song, but I am fairly sure that only a year or so later I would have dismissed it as babyish and felt embarrassed at having liked it.  The fact that I did not recall any such feelings of embarrassment suggests to me that I can neither have heard nor recalled the song at all in the years between 1963 and 1990.


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