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SA Partridge

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Feeling nostalgic

I was chatting to a friend, who is sadly no longer in the country, when the conversation took a distinctly nostalgic turn.

The Covenant song, Call the ships to port, had brought with it memories that he thought he had left behind, and of course, once that chest had been opened, we started rummaging through each of our happiest moments.

His own memories centered around his wife and friends, while mine were quite defining of who I am as a person, some going back to when I was a child.

It’s strange how the happiest moments are so few compared to those we experience every day. They stand out so clearly in our memories, like photographs.

The first of my memories was seeing Nick Cave and PJ Harvey sing Henry Lee hand-in-hand on the TV show The White Room. I was twelve years-old at the time and completely rapt. I can’t even remember what other musicians appeared. For me, those two artists opened my eyes to another world that I didn’t even know existed.

Fast forward a few years later to when I was a teenager experiencing love for the first time. He was from Sweden, and possibly the handsomest boy I had ever seen. To date I have yet to see anyone who has even come close. We spent the evening running around the suburban streets like we were the only two people alive. We couldn’t keep our eyes off each other. It was the most fun I have ever had.

fishing-boat.jpg A few of my happy memories take place in beautiful places. Newlands Forest, the solitary beaches of Paternoster, the streets of London, the haunting pebble beaches of Arniston, and the primate-inhabited forests of Plettenberg Bay. I’ve wondered lonely, yet exquisite cemeteries, beaches at the end of Africa where I’ve dug for old glass bottles among the shipwrecks.

gothic-underground.jpgTwo of my happy memories are from train journeys. In London, the Tube closes before midnight, so when a few of us made the trek to see Nine Inch Nails in Brixton, we found ourselves on the last train back. Naturally, the trickle of late-night commuters stared at the painted Goths, but that’s the point really, isn’t it? My second train journey is local. I used to commute to Town everyday on the train, and there really is no greater feeling of freedom. Taking the train is such an amazing way to get to know the city and its people, and by yourself, is exhilarating. I miss it and feel a pang whenever I see one snake past.

Some moments just stand out. I remember when Coke Fest was happening at Kenilworth Racecourse. Neither my housemate nor I could afford to go, but the acoustics were so good that we could hear the bands just fine from our back yard. We were sitting on the back stoep, when Chris Cornell started singing Black Hole Sun in his hypnotic voice. It was crystal clear, as if we were standing in the stadium, and there was a moment when we just looked at each other and we were both thinking the same thing – that we were so lucky to be hearing that, even if we weren’t really there.

These aren’t all of my happiest memories, but a few that I thought would be worth sharing. I have omitted all mention of my books or cats. More blogs devoted to those subjects will follow I’m sure.

 

Recent comments:

  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    April 14th, 2009 @16:30 #
     
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    Another bump. Very nice post from Sally that got swallered by E Bunny.

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  • <a href="http://fionasnyckers.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Fiona</a>
    Fiona
    April 16th, 2009 @11:36 #
     
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    This is why I could never leave SA, unless forced out by gunpoint. The nostalgia would be unbearable. Lovely post, Sally.

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  • <a href="http://sarahlotz.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sarah Lotz</a>
    Sarah Lotz
    April 16th, 2009 @11:58 #
     
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    Sally - please tell us more about the gorgeous Swede. PJ Harvey also makes me feel nostalgic, I can never figure out why.

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  • <a href="http://www.sapartridge.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    Sally
    April 16th, 2009 @13:31 #
     
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    Sarah, teenage love affairs are always melodramatic and larger than life. He was gorgeous though.... like a teenage Johnny Depp with big melty brown eyes and a foreign accent. ~swoons~

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  • <a href="http://sarahlotz.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sarah Lotz</a>
    Sarah Lotz
    April 16th, 2009 @13:47 #
     
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    Yum. Johnny Depp before he became a camp pirate. Lucky you, Sally!

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  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    April 16th, 2009 @14:25 #
     
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    I'm glad I read this.

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  • <a href="http://www.sapartridge.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    Sally
    April 16th, 2009 @14:37 #
     
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    Thank you Louis. wow

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  • ar
    ar
    April 16th, 2009 @15:44 #
     
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    I had not exactly forgotten that chilling, beguiling, hypnotic and slightly crazed video of PJ and Nick Cave singing Henry Lee (if it's the same version as the one you're talking about, which I suspect it is), but had for some reason pushed it to the back of my mind... now I will go and find it on youtube. Yum.

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