Music stirs memories.  My sister turned seventy and I’ve just returned from a few days marking the occasion with my family, my siblings, my cousins.  Sitting out together on a balmy evening in our July heatwave, my brother spontaneously started to play intros from the sixties and seventies, the soundtracks of our lives, and we vied to name the tune.  


My reading project this year has been Proust’s A la Recherche du Temps Perdu, started and neglected a few times in my past lives, now almost complete as a retirement/lockdown indulgence.  For Proust, a particular sensation (for him, the taste of a madeleine dipped in tea, the sight of hawthorn in blossom, a phrase in a piece of music) transports you back to the essence of an experience.  It is as if the young-self rises within the present-self and time collapses.


Those songs have filled my head and heart, left me thoughtful, nostalgic perhaps, for my own lost times.

First Notes



An endless 

enveloping evening,



summer warmth 


building over some days

like the sea 


surrendering its chill

after a stretch of sun,


we compete to name the song,

first notes 


misleading memory 

before we get it.


‘This was my favourite.’

‘Me too.’


‘Reminds me of …’ 

‘Where were we?’


In the lingering moment of

digging familiar grooves,


shared memories shuffle

into the set of snapshots


we hold in our private albums.

No longer the same old song,


we move on before

the end.