Childhood is made up of sights and sounds

And smells, before the dark of reason grows.

Or something like that.  It’s from John Betjeman’s Summoned by Bells – I’ve relied on a memory from 4 decades ago, so if I’ve misquoted, my apologies.

The reason for it is that I’ve just been listening to music that took me right back to childhood.  The other day, you see, there was a programme about Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and it made me want to listen to it again, but I haven’t a CD of it, so I got it from Spotify.  And, as is not uncommon, it got me downloading various other things of his, including the Lieder Ohne Worte.  And, unexpectedly, it took me to my mother playing the piano in the evening while my sister and I sneaked out of our bedroom and sat on the stairs to listen to her.  She wouldn’t play in front of anyone, nor sing if anyone but us could hear her.  Not surprising, perhaps, that I was acutely self-conscious about both things myself, but extremely odd that now I voluntarily, though with no enjoyment, play the organ at church services.

I’ve also been listening to the Italian Symphony which, as I remember, was about the first classical LP that I ever bought for myself.

Nostalgia tends to make me melancholy, with or without reason.  I’m going to go and pick up Squiffany from school and put it all out of my mind.

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