Thursday, 23 April 2015

ALL OUR YESTERDAYS...?



As someone living in my seventh house by the time I was twenty-
eight, I've often wondered what it must be like for those who've lived
in the same abode for all of their remembered life.  You see, to me, the
memories of each area I've lived in (especially growing up), each set of
friends, neighbours, experiences, etc., is almost like having lived several
alternate lives when I think back on them.  To someone who has always
lived in the same house, I'd imagine it's an entirely different scenario.


This makes me wonder if their perception of time is the same as mine.
Having stayed in the same place all their life, does the period of their
childhood seem to have passed quicker or slower to them, not having
consisted of separate 'epochs' in the way that mine has?  As I once ex-
plained in a previous post, regardless of whether I lived somewhere for
one year, four years, or eleven years, when I look back, it doesn't feel as
if I spent longer in one place than I did another.  Consequently, having
stayed in five different houses before I was fourteen - for what seems
like equal duration - the impression that I've lived five distinct child-
hoods is perhaps more understandable than would at first appear.


However, if you've lived in the same house all your life, you only have
memories of growing up against the background of the same place to
reflect on in later life, so - does your sense of time, uninterrupted as it
was in comparison to mine, operate on the same level?  I don't suppose
I'll ever really know, but the question fascinates me.  As I also said in
another post, I have a tendency to imbue a sense of the profound into
the most trivial of concepts - perhaps this is just one such occasion.


Anyone got any thoughts on the matter?

12 comments:

  1. My perception of the passing of time was pretty constant throughout the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's - all of which seemed to travel at the correct speed. But once it got to 1990, God hit the "x 1,000" button on time! The last quarter of a century seems like a few days to me!

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    1. I know how you feel, JP. The last 30 years of my life have just flown by.

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  2. Well, I lived in the same house from the age of two till my early twenties and even after that I'd go back to visit regularly till my mother died 6 years ago. I'm glad we lived in just the one place - to me it makes my childhood years feel like one continuous event. Also I consider "childhood years" to be everything up to my 13th birthday in February 1979 so it was all in the one house and in the one decade, the 1970s.

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    1. Y'know, I almost envy you, CJ. On the one hand, I wish I'd lived in the same house, but on the other, I'd have missed the five 'childhoods' I experienced.

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  3. Although I have lived in a total of 5 houses during my 36 years on this planet each house has only been a few feet from one and other… I have only lived in this current house for 4 years, but my great grandmother lived here before me for 40 years and so I am surrounded my memories, even my first school’s playing field backs onto our land!

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    Replies
    1. That sounds really interesting to me, AJ. Could you supply more details?

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    2. Id does?! Ok, well you asked for it… I have lived my entire life on one patch of land. I lived with my parents, who lived next door to my grandparents who lived next door to my great grandmother (I had two other grandmothers that lived about ¼ of a mile from us). During all that time I have occupied/lived in each one of the houses that we have at some point in my life (I now live in my great-grandmother’s house who passed away in 1993). So in my last 36 years I have only ever moved a couple of feet… Next to our property is the school field, each morning I only had to climb over a fence to get to school (didn’t have to set off for school until 8:55 and got home before most kids!) I was 11 and at secondary school before I had to actually travel to a school (7 miles away) and then (30 miles) each day to attended art Collage/ University throughout the mid to late 90’s. So, when I step outside of my home (I have just started referring to it as our ancestral home) I am surrounded by buildings built by family members (some of which I can remember being constructed) and plants planted either by relatives or even myself...

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    3. Wow! I think I may be jealous, AJ. That's what I call continuity. Let's hope they don't build a housing scheme on that school field some day. It's happened several times in my home town. Can you see yourself ever moving?

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    4. Well… the houses are being built just on the other side. In the last 14 years or so our clear view of the village and the surrounding mountains has been partially obscured by newly built homes but we have fields (my father has some smallholding) so that gives us some ‘space’. As for ever moving, I never rule it out- the conditions would have to be just right or beyond my control… Let me know if you ever come down this way I’ll give you the tour :)

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    5. Will do, AJ. Fascinating story - thanks for sharing it.

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    6. Most welcome sir, sincerely hope it was of interest! :)

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    7. Yes indeedy, sure was.

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