Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The Return To Thornton Weir

Twenty five years ago me and my pals would cycle several miles from Winslow through the sleepy Buckinghamshire countryside to a place called Thornton Weir. We'd swim in the river, jump off the banks, spend hours just being young and stupid. Must have been the summer of 86; Madonna was at the height of her fame, whilst Maradona was cheating England out of the world cup. Me? I hadn't a care in the world. I was 15 and a good natured idiot, with all my life before me.
I'd never been back to Thornton Weir. Not until today.
It was the strangest feeling. The place hadn't changed so much. It was still possible to swim in the river, although there were more stinging nettles along the banks now. I was alone, having driven back from Olney having taken my best and maddest mate out to lunch. I walked across the large field that leads to the actual weir and found myself able, albeit briefly, to recall something of what I was. I recalled the music I listened to, and remembered the girl I used to have a crush on but was never fortunate enough to kiss. If you're reading this Emma, I had the hots for you for years. 
And now we're a quarter of a century on. The world's changed. I've changed. The boys I went with are now men with careers, each having walked their own road. Some have faced terrible grief, some have had it good and been successful, whatever that actually means. I wonder if they ever look back, as I sometimes do? I wonder what they see? How do they remember those years. What was important to us then? Would we do anything different? Is it even useful to reflect on such things? The world keeps turning and there are further adventures ahead. Yet those days, those sunny summer afternoons and bike rides home as the sunset flared orange and red . Those moments are iridescent to me.

No comments:

Post a Comment