Ghosts


Not the spooky type

I loved ‘Randall & Hopkirk – Deceased’ when I was a young boy; I love the idea of ghosts; the fact that there is something out there that can look after you, or you can talk to or will protect you, but the fact is I don’t believe in them. Well, not the spooky type anyway. You may have come to this piece of writing expecting an analysis of Derek Acorah and the whole ghost hunt thing. This isn’t that discussion. This is about the ghosts that do exist – your own.

Memories and ‘Your Song’

Most of us have been in relationships; my first was when I was 13 (amazingly we’re still in contact – good old Facebook) and that was 35 years ago. I’ve kissed a few girls in that time, had many wonderful experiences, some not so good times and had my heart broken along the way – a few times as well. I’m left with my memories and my romantic notions of the future. The ghosts, as referred to in the title, aren’t really the girls, they are the memories that stir when random stimuli take me by surprise. You know what I mean: you drive down a street you haven’t been to in a long time and you remember who you were with. Or a movie comes on tv and you remember who you saw it with. Or a song comes on that was ‘your song’. If it was ‘Your Song’ that’s doubly unfortunate – not that it isn’t a great song, but it does pop up a lot.

The plans that never happened

The ghosts I think about the most though are the plans that never happened. They are somehow more painful than the things you did. I can look back and think of Durdle Door, Carnforth Station, Ashness Bridge, Paris, Brussels, Brighton, Battle (near Hastings) and Cornwall amongst all sorts of other memories and be instantly transported back to those places and who I shared them with. My longest relationship was 13 years and in that time we talked about visiting one particular place for 10 years and we never went. It’s a 4 hour drive from where I live, she eventually went with someone else and so did I. Ridiculous that in 10 years we never scheduled that trip in. I learnt from this and have done as much as I can in the following years. The fact remains though, that you still don’t fit everything in.

Ghosts will always haunt us

These are the ghosts I mourn. I planned to do a holiday around the coast of Britain that would take a week and cover Canterbury to Anglesey – we never did it. There is a train that runs along the coast where the waves often go over the train – that’s been on the list for 4 years. I want to go back to Paris and Rome – still on the list. The Lake District holds a pull over me like no other place I know. Anyone who knows me well enough knows who I was going to do these things with, equally anyone who really knows me knows that one day I will do them with someone. The experience won’t be diminished in any way because I did them with someone who is that special person to share with, but the ghost will still be there with a little question of ‘what if?’ The point about this piece is do what you want to do and do it soon. Life is about the living. I talked about this to a friend of mine recently and she said she never has these feelings at all. I think we both found our views equally interesting. I am a nostalgic fool sometimes, but I’m also a do-er. Ghosts will always haunt us, but sometimes they can also drive us.

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