The past dictates the future

We’re back now.

Low in high school.

It was good while it lasted… But the second half of the summer holidays is always a bit like a film, or theatre production.

At first, it seems ages away… you enjoy the opening, completely absorbed and engrossed. There’s anticipation, often followed by anti climax as time runs away with you. Finally, you reflect on the time you have spent in this ‘other’ world. Hopefully… Resolutions, with questions answered and no regrets or being upset there’s no time left.

Talking of which, I actually made it to the cinema last month, just before Morrissey announced his new album, and England is Mine didn’t disappoint. I felt empathy and sympathy towards the protagonist in equal measure, as it showed shyness isn’t actually that nice after all, and strangely made me think a lot about our own son.

Thankfully, his hip is developing nicely and the doctors were really pleased with the progress he is making (even if he’s been keeping us on our toes)

I actually started writing this on the way back from Blackpool.

The Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News is on the radio, somewhat serendipitously, as several key moments of recent days felt once again like going back to the future; none more so than today, not just to the summer when I visited all those fortune tellers, and secretly recorded my predictions with the excitement of a child and the wide eyed belief of many a poor tourist… but further back to childhood, when a day out seeing the tower and piers brought triumph, and Jungle Jim’s was heaven.

We had a great day. Harry Ramsden’s, two of the three piers, ice cream and donkeys and the northern life right there… Watching my daughter run up and down the promenade, beaming face lit up like the illuminations, and the little guy’s bemused face wondering what on earth was going on, was like looking in mirrors.

Watching myself back then.

I don’t remember starting school, though this year, feel like it’s happening all over again. There will of course be the obligatory photos, tears, proud smiles and nervous nights, but also a period of reflection that turning four, leaving nursery and growing up offers no alternative to.

Reading signs, forming letters correctly and doing sums. Mark making like her life depends on it… inquisitiveness. Intelligence, we hope… even wants to become a doctor! Time will tell, of course.

Some hope and positivity, then, and she turned four amidst the pain caused by a group of troubled young men in Barcelona.

A place very close to my heart, and although it’s easy to say ‘I’ve been there’ or ‘I know people there now’ these terrible events are getting closer and the fear they strike gets stronger.

I seem to be writing about tragedy every month, which isn’t what any of us want, and the anniversaries of Ten years ago and Rhys Jones; Twenty, Princess Diana mean we are constantly reminded of sadness and misfortune.

That’s why I opted to make my annual attempt to get on TV – and make my name before 40, as the fortune tellers predicted – a light hearted story for a competition to write an episode of Moving On, based on real events that I’ve bored you with over the years. I was spurred on by Jimmy McGovern’s impressive and nicely ended ‘Broken’, and I can confidently say it would have made a great 45 minutes’ TV, but having heard nothing in reply I can only assume I’ve been unsuccessful this time.

Still, celebrating that fourth birthday as much as possible was important, after everything she went through being three. Thankfully, Poppy made the party extra special…

At the start of the holidays, we drew a list of what we wanted to do.

Pretty much everything was ticked off – not everything positive, like – so there was a sense of achievement at the series watched, books started, jobs around the house done, farms visited, parties attended, especially with Princess Poppy.

One of which was Twin Peaks.

I’ve written before of my bemusement and it didn’t stop, but there was a point in episode 15(I think) where it all suddenly started to make sense: my patience became worthwhile and David Lynch’s modern masterpiece unravelled in inimitable style. I’m so glad I stuck with it, despite those times when WW came in and asked “WTF?” whilst I, agape, couldn’t answer, quite incredulously.

Just listen to this…

Still, it ended perfectly, and as the holiday drew to a close, I got to start the long awaited project of drawing the statues, spending a few days on the beach with the iron men. Antony Gormley has been complaining about their adornments and additions, but they added interest and variety to my task, and the kids loved them too.

Deciding how to document the project brought back other memories. Countdowns, listening to the charts and Carrie’s speech from Four Weddings all influenced the list. As the new terms start, creative wells dry up for the autumn, but with something much better as a replacement.

Before that, huge changes take place, and the monitor lizards arrive to devour their prey whilst the new blood embed themselves quite happily.

It matters not; what is important is the routine, the quality time spent smiling and enjoying each other’s company and the hope that the future brings opportunity (no knock, no doorbell) to support what we were foretold.

School has started very well, for one of us at least, and the optimism for the future outweighs any worries, for now anyway…

To Autumn.