Saturday, 19 March 2011


Cover me in chocolate and throw me to the lesbians

I found myself in the deepest, darkest recesses of my garage this afternoon. As far as I can recall, my garage hasn’t fulfilled it’s purpose of housing motorised transport for over ten years now. It is stuffed full to the rafters with cages of equipment, paint tins and piles of cardboard boxes; some of which have followed my every house move; that’s eight houses or so.

One of the boxes was labelled, intriguingly, “Alan’s Stuff”. It was still taped up – unopened for some thirty years.


Well – treasure of sorts: Amongst the artefacts carefully stored were old university files on gravity dam designs, files of calculations for launching steel truss bridges over railway lines, some wonderful old notebooks lovingly detailing epic walks done as a teenager, boxes of 35mm colour slides of quite fantastic structural engineering projects undertaken, and then, at the bottom of the box, a small neat stack of simple white envelopes addressed to me: Old love letters.

All in date order from my time at university, all in perfect condition. First Class stamps were 9p at the time.

I have sat in Mission Control this evening reading the happiness of youth that seems a million years ago, the memories washing wonderfully over me.

Go on. Go into your garage and find your thirty year old unopened box. I can guarantee it will make you think back and smile.


  1. I wasn't even a teenager thirty years ago, mine'd be all dreams of ponies I never owned.
    Glad you enjoyed your nostalgia trip, mine'll come!

  2. If ever a post title was designed to guarantee a click!

    My recollections - sadly, without the photographs to go along with them - are of rows of 'Kings' and 'Castles' surrounding the turntable at Stafford Road; Sunday morning trips to the sheds at Crewe; 'bunking' of the Saltley depot under cover of darkness.

    And unlicensed, fishing from spots inaccessible to any bailiff. The sheer thrill of an illicitly-taken three ounce Gudgeon is impossible to convey in words.

    Oh, and putting six past soon to be European Cup winners Manchester United at The Hawthorns (Astle hat-trick; Denis Law got two for United; George Best was simply breathtaking).

  3. I have sat in Mission Control this evening reading the happiness of youth that seems a million years ago, the memories washing wonderfully over me.

    Sadly my garage is full of tools, rubbish, gym equipment and bikes, but no memories from earlier times. My previous garage flooded so no chance of memories of debauched youth or unrequited love there either.

    There's always Friend's Reunited I guess. Now what was her name?

    Note to self... Have a look in the loft!

  4. So intrigued by the title...thought the garage held your (ahem) video collection.

    Was ready to click on the YouTube link. Sadly this was not to be. Once more our expectations have been crushed.

    Mind were a bit vague about the content of the letters.

  5. Having just done (yet) another house move, added with my parents soon moving home after nearly thirty years, I have become reacquainted with much of my old rubbish^H belongings.

    Some are welcome, like dog-eared photos and faded letters. Others less so: items that remind you of bad times, and yet I cannot contemplate throwing them away.

    Of course, the real joy is in creating more boxes to be opened later, of shuffling the present into an archive for the future....

  6. I don’t have a garage. No white envelopes either.
    I have thrown most of my “old” stuff out. I am trying not to hoard stuff any more.

    I love that sunset Alan, you must be proud of that one.


Because of spammers, I moderate all comments, so don't worry if your comment seems to have disappeared; It has been sent to me for approval. As soon as I see it, I'll deal with it straight away.
Thank you!