Friday, April 06, 2012

The passage of time: anniversaries

Both myself and the media love celebrating anniversaries.  Mine are better than theirs though.  I don't like celebrating the anniversaries of conflicts.  I like weddings, lives and births. Perhaps it is in the media interest to celebrate wars : 'Divide and Rule'.  We're having these 30 year anniversaries at the moment - of course it brings back childhood memories for me.  Thirty years since Thatcher was elected PM and now thirty years since the Falklands War.  I remember the doom that descended on our household when She became all powerful.  It followed us on our move up North, where my parents broke up. I remember my brother as a baby or toddler with the 'Vote Labour' rossette, crying his head off.  We laughed, took it off, but it was seen as a bad omen. We moved for Dad's career to a college where he was principal.  It is no coincidence, to this depressing piece of writing, that it has just shut - after 61 years. 

But, life goes on, people still go on holiday, there are always happy times too.  We still went on holiday, with Mum and Dad (who hadn't yet spilt up) in 1982 with the hippies from the South.  That is my memory of the Falklands War.  We went to Pontins holiday camp.  We were in a theatre of some sort.  A boy came on stage.  I was fascinated by him dressed up as a girl in a tutu, with make up on, singing 'Don't Cry for Me Argentina'.  The audience was laughing their heads off, cheering and jeering.  My parents and friends weren't.  I didn't get it.  I wanted to stay until the end, but I think we walked out. My first awareness that my family's - what became my -  political views were at odds with everyone else's.  A feeling I'm still not used to 30 years on.

We seem so close to what was happening 30 years ago, with the cuts, wars and a general feeling of gloom and doom, yet so far from what was happening 40 years ago. Perhaps it's just because I wasn't around 40 years ago.  Or perhaps things were more optimistic in the early 70s. That's the passage of time for you, confusing, complex and all encompassing in the moment.    But it is a very special anniversary for our family this weekend, so we will have a glass of champagne to celebrate that wonderful event on Sunday.  We can unite in joy, love, peace and happiness the world over, despite what the media tell us.

No comments: