Like "Ulysses", Marcel Proust's novel (7 volumes) is well known for being unread but it was recently brought to mind when we were reminiscing about old times with a very old friend. It's half-term round here but where are all the kids? Not playing out; we did see three lads out on bikes but most would be "busy" with their Xboxes and tablets.
Nostalgia is what were about, looking back to those grand days when we were young and lucky enough to find ourselves in one of the most interesting places on earth - and at a most interesting time.
It would be wrong to say, "Let's forget that; today is the reality; we're knocking on a bit now - and those of us who can look back are the lucky ones but we also have to be realistic. Without wanting to chuck cold water on any notion, where are the bright ideas about what the future holds and what we should be doing?
"Temps perdus"literally means "times lost" - well of course all past times are lost because, in real life, as opposed to theoretical physics, time goes only one way.
How many of us can honestly say that, if we could go back we wouldn't do some things differently? Were there no times that we might have made somebody's life brighter?
Now - a moan; I've already bemoaned to early onset of Christmas; I can remember as a child enjoying the magic of Christmas and when we visited a garden centre this morning it was nice to see a little tot clearly smitten by the bright lights on a Christmas tree - but there's still a long way to go; will he be as excited over the coming weeks when he sees so many so early. There were two huge piles of senna clarses, all with little "gold" rimmed glasses - and the were momma clarses too; I haven't seen those before. Perhaps the ladies' lobby insisted that the whole male dominated thing has got to change. That's not my main moan, though; I went to get some green wood preserver for my shed. I've done three sides and run out of the stuff - but I gave up; the stacks of baubles, calendars, and snow scenes seemed to have displaced all the garden stuff to some corner that I couldn't see. So we just had coffee and shared a large scone and came home.