Shelves of memories gather dust while Heroes make a big return

By david looby

Published 23/01/2016 | 00:00

David Looby
David Looby
The late, great David Bowie electrified the world with his originality.

NOSTALGIA is in the air.

We've Star Wars on the cinemas, Rocky has made a comeback (of sorts) and through the death of the planet's most charismatic musician, we're listening to great music again. At last!

Something dawned on me in recent days. A reunion was being mooted, which got me thinking that it is 20 years since I began my college life at UCC. Back then five of us shared a three bedroom house which was something akin to Fagan's den in 'Oliver', but with bars on the windows.

Fire safety wasn't an issue judging by the blackened, burned beams. We didn't care as we were located right in the centre of Cork, so much so that the nostril-filling waft from the Beamish plant was probably how we found our way home from the local many a night. Our digs were cheap and college hours untaxing. Life was simple and we enjoyed those years, for the most part.

The suggestion for the reunion awoke in me a new sense of purpose. Not having had the benefit of a secondary school class reunion, I resolved to organise a college house reunion. October of this year, being 20 years to the month when we moved into our house, was the agreed date. As we've all scattered to different corners of the globe, (some more than others!), the reunion will take some organising, but I'm hopeful.

With the new year The Good Woman has also enjoyed a newfound sense of purpose and hers, apart from her career, is focussed on the house.

The Little Fella and the Whirlwind Princess were both home sick on Tuesday and I arrived back to find a sea of multi-coloured toys where once the floor had been. The briquettes were formed into a leaning Tower of Pisa in the hallway and the kindling and our DVDs were everywhere.

'That's it', we're getting in Mick,' she announced, referring to our local handyman, who arrives Superman-like to sort the place out when that needs doing.

New shelves are planned, in a house with enough shelves to house a college library of books. Observing the room while trying to figure out where the shelves would go, I noticed a few hundred books on one side of the fireplace and several photo albums on the other side.

In a rare moment of peace and quiet one night last week I leafed through the albums and found - to my surprise - that I once had a life. Here were images of hastily arranged, last minute weekend breaks to visit friends in London and there, there was me in India and in Buenos Aires. Finally proof of a life lived!

I once - long before children and the pincer grip, hampster-on-a-threadmill world I occupy today - had a life and felt that thrill of adventure. College life didn't lend itself to photographs, (apart from the obligatory graduation pic outside some ivy coated building in The Quad in UCC). It was more of a long night of the soul with parties, nightclubs, freezing sittingrooms and endless Twin Peaks and Jools Holland videos.

Although we're all moving on in our lives, we can always change things, be it through reconnecting with people we've lost touch with, or taking the time to remember a time when priorities were much more fun and open-ended.

Call me old fashioned, but I watched the latest Star Wars film and enjoyed it. I'll probably watch Creed too.

As the Great David Bowie once wrote, 'We can be heroes, just for one day,' and one day is good enough.

RIP Starman!

Wexford People

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