Amazing how one’s memory can drift over time. Our daughter Hania sent us this link to an amateur film made in Barnes, London, by John McCready in 1974 – the year before we arrived from central London.
At one level very little seems to have changed, and yet the film can’t show the construction of the river wall, that occluded the Thames to a degree; the village pond that drained overnight and had to be restored over quite some years; the fire that raged through the church, in the event providing the opportunity to rebuild in a wonderful way; and the intensification of flights overhead into nearby Heathrow, a nuisance that has been radically abated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Interesting, too, to see the building in the High Street where Gaia (aged perhaps 3 or 4) and I stopped to watch a coral reef on a colour TV screen. She dropped to a crouch and was utterly rapt. Case made. I went in within days to buy a tiny but wonderful for those days) Sony Trinitron colour TV – and it provided a remarkable window into the natural world.
If only we had been able to see then the sort of TV screens that are increasingly standard today. They would have seemed more like a cinema. And that’s another thing that has changed. The music studios where people like The Beatles, The Byrds and Queen recorded, is now a cinema. Or at least it was until the virus hit – hope it will still be when the pandemic subsides.