Thursday, 24 November 2011

Soundtrack stories - Trouble

I've never owned a song by Coldplay and until recently I didn't even know what this one was called, but if I hear the first three notes, wherever I am  and  whatever I'm doing, I'll stop for just a moment and think "Oh, it's Ged."

And suddenly I'm back in the house in Bickley.

It was always a strange house; an old lodge that had once marked the entrance to a much grander building. A bungalow, built in the shape of a cross; it had a series of rooms leading off each other, each of them tiny, and each of them impossible to keep warm.

In my memory, I'm always sitting at the table in the dining room, looking out on the ivy-covered wall that separates the house from a busy road. The table is covered in a red and white checked cloth that doesn't quite match the raspberry-painted walls. The ironing board stands in one corner because there's nowhere else to keep it, and just behind where I sit is the bookcase with its shelves of books arranged by the colour of their spines.

And all the children still live with me.

Claire and Megan are in their bedroom, tucked behind one of the doors leading from the lounge. The eight year gap in their ages brings a strange mix of cuddly toys and sparkly make-up to the mess that surrounds them. Charlie is sprawled on the sofa watching tv. In one corner of the lounge there's a huge open fireplace, piled up with the pine cones we've collected from the garden. In the opposite corner there's a small wooden staircase that leads to the boys' attic bedroom, and up there sits Ged playing on his Yamaha keyboard.

As I sit at the table, gazing out of the window, I don't notice the sound of the traffic outside, or the shouts from the tv in the next room, because all I can hear, flowing down that small wooden staircase, are those three notes.

Back then, I didn't know what the song was called, but I looked it up on Google recently and read the lyrics. And now, as I sit at the dining table in another house and time, I'd really love for the girls to be here squabbling over make-up, for Charlie to be glued to Match of the Day, and for Ged to be somewhere upstairs playing those first three notes, so that I could sing back to him, in the words of the song.


Oh I never meant to cause you trouble; Oh I never meant to do you wrong.



10 comments:

Dicky said...

Lovely piece of melancholy, which is always my favourite type of story. I avoid Coldplay like the plague; way too sad songs. The Scientist gets me going every time. I think it always comes back to the same thing, music is just so powerful when it comes to memories; good or bad. Thanks for sharing this.

Susan Cooper said...

Coldplay can fit with some curcumstances but not all. What a great bittersweet memory. As always, a very nice read. :), Susan Cooper

Rajnish said...

good writing...

Raymond Alexander Kukkee said...

Sharon, this is wonderful writing. Your writing has passion--and awakens the imagination. Excellent post, most poignant echoes from the past- revived beautifully.

Kathleen Balma said...

This post is the perfect example of the nostalgic nature of music. Thank you!

bzirkone said...

I am not even sure how I found your blog but lucky me. I share your same longing to re-live some of the snapshots from the past- if only for a minute.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I've liked your writing from the beginning, but lately you've knocked several of them out of the park. Fabulous.

Cle Reveries said...

I like your nice impressive post!
Your writing is always fantastic!

Joe Pereira said...

Lovely stuff Sharon. Music is so important to me at the moment.

Jennifer said...

This was absolutely beautiful. Truly, truly.