Back in the Day (B/W)
Back in the day, before Dulux and Crown made up silly names like Strawberry Crush or Vanilla Cheesecake or Brick Overtone, there was a quiet little garden here in _Paul_And_Land_. Courting couples, hand in hand, arm in arm and sometimes toe to toe, would meander through enjoying proper colours. At the centre of this idyll, surrounded by neatly clipped hedges, was a tiny, tiny statue something of the nature of Piccalilli Circus. A joyous little thing which the courting couples swooned over, hand in hand, arm in arm and sometimes even toe to toe.
Then along came Dulux and Crown with their strange notions and swooning couples headed off to B & Q to meander the aisles looking at fixings, tools, fitted wardrobes, toilet seats in the shape of a sea-shell and other associated guff. The lovely garden had lost it’s attraction and the tiny, tiny statue of the nature of Piccallili Circus was only visited by people with strong breath and bottles of cheap stuff or unhappy people with questionable habits involving chemicals.
So, following a full study by the Council with site visits and hefty reports costing umpteen thousands of shiny round things, the park and its tiny, tiny statue was closed and the fences went up. ‘Land for Sale’ were the beckoning signs that beckoned beckoners and even before Crown and Dulux could invent this seasons new colours, the land was grabbed. In waltzed the heavy earth-moving equipment and men in wellington boots, toe to toe with other men in wellington boots ripping up the very sods which the courting couples had formerly swooned around. And the tiny, tiny statue of the nature of Piccallili Circus found itself a new home, the back of a truck en route to a smelting plant in somewhere like Droitwich or Workington or Dewsbury.
Fast forward a year or two, past Apple Barley Twist and Tangerine Fizz, our little park is a new park. For cars. Outside the all new singing and dancing retail park, where swooning couples check out fixings, tools, fitted wardrobes, toilet seats in the shape of a sea-shell and other associated guff. And the tiny, tiny statue of the nature of Piccallili Circus? Neatly melted and turned into a set of bearings for a lawn-mower. The type of thing that keeps lawns trimmed, behind fences, all private-like and where people talk about the lack of history and the lack of public gardens and the lack of soul in this damned place. And then they converge to purchase fixings, tools, fitted wardrobes, toilet seats in the shape of a sea-shell and other associated guff.
Fortunately, sitting in an old car, are an equally elderly couple. Hand in hand, remembering their park and the tiny, tiny statue of the nature of Piccallili Circus which fired its tiny, tiny arrows into their hearts. And cut to the closing credits with Barbra Streisand singing:
Light the corners of my mind
Misty water-coloured memories
Of the way we were
Of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another
For the way we were
Can it be that it was all so simple then?
Or has time re-written every line?
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we? Could we?
Memories, may be beautiful and yet
What’s too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget
So it’s the laughter
We will remember
Whenever we remember…
The way we were.