Thursday, December 03, 2009

Sounds of the past

It is often said that smells are among the most evocative stimuli, but as I languished in what might well turn out to be the embrace of swine flu I've been thinking about sound and its power to conjure up the past. It began with the sound of my own teeth, chattering. As I curled up in a vain attempt to get warm, that first, shivering night, I could hear them, galloping away in a parody of cold, and the part of me that stays dispassionately aware giggled, somewhere, and remembered ... Scooby Doo.

I have not the least idea if Scooby Doo still appears on the telly, but when Mr B and I first set up home in a relatively bijou flat in Hyndland (red sandstone kid to the last, me) we had the telly in our living room. Actually, that first year we had most of our furniture, other than the bed, in the living room: we couldn't afford to put more than the piano and a bookcase in the large front room until the following summer. This was the first time I'd ever been in the same room as the telly in the early evening, and I used to put it on to keep me company as I learned to cook. (Sorry - read "made the dinner" there). And so it is that the chattering of my own teeth took me, via the chattering of the scared S.D's teeth and the sudden memory of the theme music, back to the time when I worried in case I'd spent too much on meat that wasn't going to last two days and thought that every evening meal should include a pudding.

Lying abed the following day, thinking of nothing at all, really, I suddenly recalled the time when I found myself at a loose end in my own house at the start of my first maternity leave. This was a strange limbo, really, as we were contemplating a move to Dunoon at the time as well as expecting a baby, and two things stand out as markers for memory. One of these is not sound but taste - the taste of Old Jamaica Rum & Raisin chocolate - but the other is the sound of the music that introduced an early afternoon TV programme - Crown Court. I recently discovered it was real music in its own right, for I heard it on Classic FM and it had a name all of its own which Mr B could doubtless supply, were he to hand, but to me it is always two o'clock in 1974 and I'm at home waiting for my first child to arrive. Tatatatatatatumtumtumti...tatatatatatatumtumtumti pom pom....

7 comments:

  1. Old Jamacia, Scobby Doo and Crown Court - the 70's were fab! The OJ was a treat going to the pictures!

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  2. Dougal, I wouldn't have thought you old enough for such sophisticated pleasures!

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  3. Morag8:03 AM

    Just to update you, yes you can still see Scooby Doo on some of the children's channels on TV. And indeed the new adventures of his annoying puppy dog nephew Scrappy Doo :-)

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  4. Old Jamaica in my stocking every year from Santa. Delicious. Thanks for the memory.

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  5. Where were your teeth when you heard them galloping away? Are they the same ones you had problems with recently? I think we should be told.

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  6. abf, they were, happily or otherwise depending on the position of the endagered tongue, in my mouth at the time.

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  7. I breathe easy. May the dreaded lurgie soon be banished to the outer darkness and you be restored to your wonted vigour, teeth 'n' all.

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