Whether it’s been directly caused by the terminal diagnosis or just a side effect of not working and having a lot of time to myself, I have found myself having a handful of flashbacks to my childhood, pre-secondary school.
Minor events in the great scheme of things, seemingly returning to my consciousness in glorious clarity.
I’m a goalkeeper in a cup final. We go a goal down to an absolute stunner. The only match my Dad attended and he’s stood right behind the net telling me what a great shot it was. Inexplicably, I have not recollection of the goals that followed in a 1-3 defeat. But we did equalise!
I’m in the sea at Saunton Sands in Devon, location for the majority of childhood holidays. With an inflatable dinghy. The wind gets hold of the dinghy and blows it out to sea. I quickly give up the chase – a good survival instinct. A wind surfer rescues the boat and returns it to me.
Crying at school assembly the morning after my Grandad died. Despite hardly knowing him.
Scoring my first goal in playground football. I think it’s fair to say I wasn’t very good outfield but this one felt good. Even after one of my mates on the other side was less than impressed!
Showing my Mum a uniquely complex way to do long subtraction. And her being rather impressed.
Staring at the Old Man of Coniston from the opposite side of the lake. Hearing jokes about the Old Man and my Dad.
Back in goal for the lads v Dads match at junior school. Ducking under a thirty yard screamer in certainty that my head would be removed if I stayed put. I can’t remember the result of the game, or any other action.
Things that were pretty much forgotten resurfacing with great regularity. Great clarity. On the whole, it’s quite nice.