Things move, things change. Landmarks are knocked down and rebuilt. People move from one shade of being to another, subtly altering as time is measured out in weeks and months.
The building in the background of a few of these photos is no longer standing. It’s been demolished. Without realizing, we caught it on the cusp of its demise. It needed updating; in time something newer and more functional will stand in its place. Interesting how I have only just realized in the process of writing this what a constant sight it’s been over the years. I used to climb the imposing evergreen tree next to it (before all the lower branches were cut off to deter us) and run around the adjacent car park – which was nearly always empty. I did some of the ‘rite of passage’ childhood things you’re meant to remember, like learning to ride a bike. I tried and failed to roller skate; grazed my knees on tarmac; had better luck whizzing around on a scooter.
As the local village hall, it hosted everything from playgroups to film nights. I joined the disco-dancing club aged seven and wore some hideously spangled synthetic fibres (while making up routines to even more hideous music). I’ve watched others perform on the very basic, rather scuffed little stage, and hidden behind the red velvet curtains myself.
All gone now. To say it with that kind of finality though is to attach sentiment I don’t mean or feel. It was a great place that provided a warm share of memories. But it wasn’t particularly special. I’m sure its replacement will serve the community better.
It’s easy when describing a bulldozed building to add in extra layers of symbolic value. Maybe that’s because demolition is a good metaphor. We see the solid destroyed. Walls buckle, roofs collapse, the skeletal structures beneath are revealed. There’s a drama in that rising dust. Following this is metamorphosis, with new scaffolding rising from the flat ground. The jigsaw is pulled apart and replaced with a new picture.
I’m not being pulled apart, but things are certainly changing. In a month and a half I get to exchange hills for spires. I’ll be leaving home to begin my degree at Oxford. I got my A-Level results at the end of last week, and my place was confirmed. Now that I’ve navigated the whirl of paperwork, I have packing, reading and essay writing to do. The ventures ahead are both thrilling and daunting. It’s a big transition, so naturally there is some trepidation. I’m going to be packing up (a fraction of) my clothes and moving into unknown territory. Looks like pretty fantastic unknown territory to explore though.
The dress I’m wearing evokes (to me) the best of Kate Bush. I love a voluminous sleeve and a skirt fit for swishing. My mum, who is something of a silent blog reader (particularly enjoying the +40 set including Bella, Mel and Desiree), bought this seventies beauty for my birthday from Vix of Vintage Vixen – a veritable Queen of retro and second hand. When Vix isn’t dancing all night at festivals or nabbing Ossie Clark maxi-dresses from her local charity shop, she runs the Kinky Melon boutique. If you don’t already know them, I urge you to check out both her blog and online boutique. All other accessories are vintage, mostly family inherited, and the shoes are second hand.