So, in a moment of turn-of-the-decade ennui, I dug out my old box of photos from under the bed in the spare room over the holidays, and I realised that there were loads of memories that I’d suppressed or forgotten about*, and from that I realised that because I never kept a diary if someone had asked me what I was up to in summer 2002**, say, I’d have no idea.
But actually, I do have all my old photos. And I also keep all the ticket stubs from the gigs I go to. And for the last ten years there’s probably a digital trail I can work things out with.
So, do you have a diary? If not, do you have an amazing memory, not dulled by years of drinking too much, and know what you were up to years ago?
*deliberately out of sight / out of mind after splitting up with my ex
**Summer 2002 I went on an amazing road trip around the Pyrenees, starting in Perpignon, driving around the mountains, staying in places where they didn’t speak English at all, crossing over to France then ending up in Barcelona where we saw Saint Etienne play in a tiny club. One of my best holidays ever.
You say that now, but when I’ve got a bit of time later, I’m going to send some messages to some friends I haven’t spoken to in a while because I’ve been reminded that they must have been married twenty years now. Hopefully they’ll appreciate a nice friendly message, and chances are they might like seeing some photos that haven’t done the rounds for that long.
I reckon I could tell you key events for most periods of my life and maybe a few specific memories (e.g. if I went on holiday). In the summer of 2002, for example:
I got engaged! (Very young, I know)
I moved out of a shared house in advance of a move from Cardiff to East Anglia;
I relocated with work at the same time;
I remember going to a works do on the outskirts of Cardiff, getting very drunk, winning a bottle of wine in a raffle, necking the bottle of wine before getting on the coach (as they wouldn’t allow me to take it on the coach), then stumbling into Clwb Ifor Bach, stumbling out half an hour later, and getting very very lost on my walk home.
I spent my last night in Cardiff at a club night that my friend ran. We danced to Andrew WK.
Oh and we went to Reading in 2002. And did some more dancing to Andrew WK.