Recollection Backlog

What’s the use in worrying?  It’s never worth the while!

Anxiety about my physical and mental health is going to make me sicker than just living my life the way I want to.

I have some recollections I recorded while I was waiting to be told I’d gone insane, and I think it might be better if I just go ahead and share them and- when possible- research them.

Written Dec. 24, 2012:

I recently found what may be the house where I lived in Yeovil. It is clustered around a number of houses of similar age, right across from the High Holborn Guest House. 

I found it due to an article dated October 23, 2012 that said that a cannabis grow-op had caught fire there.

The house looked too modern to be the right one, so I used an online tool at a site called Bricks and Brass to date it based on the features that were visible on Google Street View.

The result came back with a date range of 1855-1902, with a median date of 1877. This means it is almost certainly from the time I would have lived in Yeovil, and very near the spot where I believe our house stood, though as far as whether or not it’s the right place, I can’t be too sure.

Unless I could gain access to the top floor and compare the view, I doubt I can ever know for sure. 

Written Dec. 25, 2012:

It turns out I had a memory of my previous life when I was very young.  Whenever I heard Simon and Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair,” I saw a garden similar to the one at Middleton or one of the other plantations near Charleston, grown into the landscape and maintained only slightly to keep the grass in certain areas short enough to walk through. I was 6 or 7 and assumed I was just visualizing Middleton, but one detail stood out: an old building, possibly a ruin, with Romanesque arches and vaults. That always puzzled me, because Middleton didn’t have anything like that. But places like Segovia and Toledo in Spain where I had been as a toddler did have them, and even though the amount of greenery around it seemed odd, I figured I’d just dreamed up the combination to make a pretty mental image.  But then I thought about all the ruined abbeys across England. Many of them were preserved in a park-like state from a very early period, when Romantic poets first discovered them. They would have been popular destinations for holiday makers and young lovers in the Edwardian era just as they are now. The abbey grounds are often grown into the landscape much like the grounds at the Charleston plantations are. Atalaya at Litchfield Beach, SC comes close, but Atalaya is more Spanish than Romanesque, and doesn’t quite look like the low entryways dug slightly into the ground to wide Romanesque arches I recall; Atalaya is flat because it’s right on the coast.  I heard that “Scarborough Fair” had been a popular tune in Northern England (particularly around York) around 1890. It’s possible I would have heard it living in Hereford.

It also makes sense that I took a number photos of abanoned abbeys while in England.

Written Dec. 27, 2012: 

I seem to remember seeing a show in some music hall, some time around 1903. The proscenium had an odd, sort of rounded shape where instead of a square frame around the stage, you had an undulating shape reminiscent of a seashell opening. It was painted in glossy white enamel and trimmed in gold. There was a chandelier too, a slightly tawdry one with feathers of red white and blue. The gas lights dimmed to a soft pale orange glow and the first bars of the overture played.

Written Dec. 31, 2012:

I remember it was common when one went over the top to get bits of blood and organs on you.It came up in a gruesome slurry mixed with the mud that every shell kicked up. Any living thing within five yards of the thing was not so much a corpse as a tangled mass of flesh that nobody bothered to recover or record them dead. Many of the missing simply had their bodies destroyed beyond what would be recognized, and it was a common enough occurrence that we had all seen it. I can’t remember if we had a name for that slurry but it seems we did.

Bullets would whiz by your ears, and nearly everyone got grazed at least once in the raids we took part in.  

The worst thing about our raids was when you had to shoot someone while looking at them.  You never forget the look in someone’s eyes when they know you’re going to kill them.

So I now have several details to research:

*Where did the Harris family live around 1876?

*Do my memories correspond to any abandoned abbeys that I would have likely visited in my previous life?

*Is there or was there a music hall in England that had a proscenium like the one I described?

*Was there a name for that gruesome battlefield slurry?


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