Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Shirley Valentine and Times Gone By

The other night as I was idly flicking through the television channels I came across the film Shirley Valentine. No matter how many times I’ve watched the flim, it always comes across as fresh as the first time I watched it and is just as poignant.

The film was at the hilarious point where Shirley meets her old school friend (Joanna Lumley). Shirley admits that she thought her friend was an air hostess and Joanna comes back as says, “Good Lord no, I’m a hooker.” or words to that affect.

The bit that really got to me though is when Shirley is on the bus going home, and is remembering how she used to be when she was a girl, full of hopes and dreams for the future.

I think that bit really got to me because I had a similar experience recently. At the end of March I celebrated my 10th wedding anniversary. Ten years – where did they go then?

We decided to celebrate by going away for a weekend without the children which we have done so rarely in the last ten years. (I was pregnant with our first son on our first anniversary, so technically we haven’t yet had an anniversary on our own).

We looked at various different options but settled on a weekend in London. On the Friday morning we travelled down on the train, stayed at a really nice hotel close to Tower Bridge (with swimming pool and spar), had a champagne flight on the London Eye and went to see Phantom of the Opera at the theatre. All in all a wonderful and memorable occasion.

I enjoy going to visit London because for nine years I used to live there. I’ve always had a fascination for our capital city and decided to go to polytechnic in north London when I was 18. I didn’t come back to the north west until I was 27. I lived in a variety of places and had so many experiences there that I can barely remember them all. But sitting on the tube and exploring places where I used to go or live brought a lot of them back to me. On the Saturday we got the tube to Richmond where I used to live and work and then followed the river all the way round to Chiswick; also a place I have lived in.

It was really weird, as though those things had happened to a different person in another lifetime and I found it really hard to reconcile the person I am now to the person I was then.

I’m not saying that I’m unhappy with my life or how things have turned out just that the years have flown by so quickly. In my head I’m still in my early twenties and sometimes it comes as a bit of a shock to realise that I’m actually in my early forties (despite the continual reminders from my boys).

I also began to think about all the time I wasted when I was down there, when I should have been out and about and making the most of the attractions of such a wonderful city and its made me more determined to make the most of what I have here, especially now the sun has started to shine.

Have you had any profound or thought provoking experiences recently?


  1. Lately I've felt the rush of time passing as well. Yet it doesn't seem to stop me from wasting it as part of my daily routine.

  2. Hi! Found you through Janey.

    I've always loved London- the photos :) My wish is to go there someday.

    And ey, I do forget all the time too that I'm no longer in my early twenties! Loved those times. (I'm going 30 already)

    Good luck on your writing!

  3. Hi Karen,

    Despite all our best intentions time always seems to slip through our fingers. My time has gone recently in a cleaning splurg in advance of a impending family visit. Half the house looks great but the other is still a work in progress - and its not that big a house. By the time I've finished I'll need to start all over again. Thankless task or what!

    Hi, I'm No Miss

    Going on 30 already - shame on you, I wish I could go back even that far! Enjoy every moment, that's what I say, but I don't always practise what I preach! Thanks for dropping in from Jayne's site - she's great isn't she?