Future Nostalgia

“Maybe I’m amazed at the way you love me all the time
Maybe I’m afraid of the way I love you
Maybe I’m amazed at the the way you pulled me out of time
And hung me on a line
Maybe I’m amazed at the way I really need you”

Paul McCartney

I accidentally own seven Paul McCartney CD’s.I bought them separately ,over a three week period in 1996 in the HMV in Blanchardstown shopping centre, Golden Discs on Henry St., and Dolphin Discs on Talbot St.
Don’t get me wrong, no one loves the Monaghan troubadour more than I…What ? Monaghan ? Yes he is…well his maternal Granda was, so he’s a Monaghan man in my eyes.. Anyway, I love the guy, but only bought seven of his CDs because there was no internet and no smart phones in Ireland in 1996, and I’d heard a snippet of ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ on the radio, but heard it as ‘Baby I’m Amazed’ and then started buying McCartney albums that had ‘Baby’ or ‘Love’ related songs listed…which turned out to be all of them.

I’d buy one, take it home, to Clane, where I lived in our first house with my Soulmate, and rip off the cellophane and start skipping through the songs on the CD player in the kitchen  before realising that this wasn’t the one…and I’d never listen to that CD ever again.

Oddly, what brought this to mind this week , was my brother John giving my Soulmate two tubs of Quality Street and a giant family bag of Tayto crisps in an effort to aid his January diet and sabotage mine. For lunch yesterday , for the first time possibly since the day I actually found the McCartney CD that had ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ on it, I had a ham and Tayto cheese & onion crisp sandwich. It was DIVINE ! As I ate it I could hear McCartney in my head and I was at one with the Multiverse.

Is that nostalgia ?

Is nostalgia always related to a good memory ?

I don’t think I’m nostalgic.

I do sometimes crave something from the past.

Years ago my Soulmate went to visit her cousin in the States and I was left in charge of our three angels. It was 2008 , so Elliott was 3, Robyn was 7 and Jake was 9. I had great plans for all of the writing I was going to do while the kids were at school, DIY jobs around the house, meditation, gardening, I saw myself as Caractacus Potts, the  carefree , mildly eccentric, whimsical, loving Dad from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, without the atrocious singing…and even worse accent. I ended up being more like Sisyphus, the Corinthian king condemned by Zeus to push a giant boulder up a mountain each day, only for it to roll down every time it got near the top.

I seemed to spend the two weeks my Soulmate was away washing clothes and being late to collect the kids.
I also took into my head that I would each day recreate for them some of the wonderful dishes I’d had made for me by Mam and Nanny when I was a kid. Before you ask, no, we did not have a nanny, our Nanny was my granny who lived with us and everyone called her Nanny Bond. And, no, I don’t know why. Old neighbours, her mad sisters, brother, her kids, my aunties, her grandchildren, the man in Martin’s ship on Clanbrassil St., Dundalk where she had a standing order for the weekly Topper, Jackie, and Jack & Jill comics for the Donnegans, Muckians and us, all called her Nanny.

Is that nostalgia ?

Anyway, flustered as I was , I was determined to make a particular dish that I hadn’t had in years but that I simply adored as a child, meatballs in gravy, with mashed potatoes. One day when I’d dropped the kids , late, to the school, I went home and rang Mam to ask for the recipe. My first mistake was asking Mam for Nanny’s recipe and was quickly told that it was her recipe, not Nanny’s. I wrote down the ingredients, fresh mince, onions, flour, potatoes, butter, oxtail soup, carrots and celery. I dashed into town, bought them all, made the meatballs, fried them , made the giant tub of oxtail soup and then dumped the meatballs int it and let it simmer, while I dashed off to collect the kids…who were standing outside the school with a very patient, but slightly exasperated Mrs. Harraghy, the last kids to be collected.

I was giddy taking them home. I couldn’t wait for them to try my favourite childhood meal. And so convinced was I that they’d love it, and my memory was of Dad, John, Stephen and I fighting over the last of it when I was a kid myself, I’d made an industrial sized amount, trebling all of the quantities that Mam had given me.
As soon as we arrived home and opened the front door I could smell the simmering pot and I was euphoric. I’m the best Dad in the world ! I’d better write out the recipe now for my kids so that they can have it in the future for their kids !

I dished out 4 large bowls and I was halfway through mine when I noticed that they hadn’t started theirs.

What’s wrong ?

“We don’t like it.” Jake said.

But it’s delicious !

“It’s……not.” Jake said.

I spent all day making this !

“Really ?” Jake said.

YES ! I said, forcefully.

Robyn started to cry.

I gathered their bowls and poured the gorgeousness back into the pot and made them paste with chicken and pesto. They wolfed it down.

I ate three bowls of the meatballs that day. It hardly put a dent in the pot. I had one bowl the following day. I haven’t had it since.

When the kids were older we went through a phase of watching movies together on a Sunday. Eileen and I would pick classics like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club, Jaws and such like , and they loved them. At one point I tried to get them to watch The Jerk. I’d loved that movie and was sure as all the other movies I’d picked had stood the test of time , that they would fall around the place laughing at The Jerk. They all left the room after about 15 minutes…including my Soulmate. I switched it off myself after about 20 minutes. It has not aged well.

Similarly , because we watched Glow on Netflix recently, 80’s music has featured on my Spotify lately and albums that I spent waaaaay too much time listening to then, Genesis ‘Three Sides Live’ , and Howard Jones ‘ Humans Lib’ sound terrible to me now, where as Simple Minds ‘Sparkle In The Rain’, The Smiths ‘The Smiths’, or even Bronski Beat’s ‘Age of Consent’ haven’t dated at all….to me.

I don’t think that’s nostalgia…just class, I guess.

I discovered Pillow Queens , and turmeric hummus this week, and rediscovered Foxygen.

Future nostalgia ?

The one thing I’m actually genuinely nostalgic for…actually two things…no three things…Park Runs on a Saturday morning, getting away for a weekend to a posh hotel with my Soulmate, oh ! I once met Howard Jones at breakfast in the Shelbourne hotel on one such weekend, he was lovely…and most of all I’d love to get back to a time when I didn’t know the names of all of the CNN anchors.


P.S. If you fancy the chance of winning an ethically sourced and manufactured SuperJetRobotDinosaurs sweatshirt, email me with something that either you’re nostalgic for , or that you think you’re nostalgic for…but having thought about it, aren’t.

P.P.S. This is No Destruction by Foxygen

Author: paul

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