Turning pages of personal history

Kate Livingstone
Kate Livingstone

There I was heading home for a long-awaited weekend with the promise of lunch with an old friend to enjoy lots of catching up and an afternoon of shopping for some new shoes.

In other words lots of me time, which doesn’t seem to happen very often nowadays.

Even the journey back to Falkirk wasn’t too bad despite having taken the car to work that day because I had another office to visit and it made it easier than relying on public transport.

As you know, I try to avoid commuting by car because of traffic jams but on this occasion it was all going very smoothly and I was looking forward to getting home, a hot bath and an evening in front of the TV – okay, with a little glass of something to celebrate the weekend.

But then my contented state was rudely shattered ... by a small child who I had never met.

I was listening to my favourite Radio Two drivetime programme when this youngster came on to request a tune.

He asked for one by the Beatles. Good choice thought I. A child who has probably been well educated by his parents to give him an eclectic taste in music.

But oh no! That certainly wasn’t the case.

“Why do you want a Beatles’ song young man,” said the DJ.

“Because we’ve been studying them in history” was the reply.

History! Not even modern studies?

To say I was flabbergasted was an understatement.

The fact that my youth was being described as history was a shock.

I may have been a schoolgirl in the mid-1960s but I remember Mary Quant, mini skirts and of course, the Fab Four as if it were yesterday.

And I certainly don’t consider it history!

But it did make me stop and think and, I’ll admit, get a little melancholy, at how the years, in fact, decades have rushed past.

And perhaps this little lad wasn’t so wrong. When I was growing up, the Second World War was history, despite it only ending 13 years before I was born. I’m sure to my parents and their friends, it didn’t seem so long ago.

The Three-Day Week of the 1970s was part of my growing up, as were the miners’ strike, poll tax riots and the fall of the Berlin Wall. All moments in time which I can vividly remember and associate with different stages in my life.

Yes it may be history to someone born in the 21st century, but when I stop and think, the most important thing to me is that it is memories, some good, some bad, but all part of the life of Kate Livingstone ... so far.