Half-Arsed Haiku – Wed 28 Jan 2015

On Glimpsing Past Lives

You turn. Smile and wave.
The ordinary now so



I watched the BBC programme A Century of Film: From Scotland With Love tonight.  Footage shot over 100 years, from the grainy to the gorgeously clear,  from jerky black and white film to glorious colour and footage that could have been filmed yesterday. All to a wonderful soundtrack from Scottish troubadour King Creosote. The documentary offers us an amazing glimpse into our nation’s past and an understanding of our present. Births, deaths, and everything in between. Showed us how far we have come and yet how some things never change. Hard lives, tired faces, real poverty, real community. Men (and boys) heading off to war (so many never to come back), people marching for peace and unity and political rallies. Dance halls, sing songs, shy smiles, stolen kisses – all glimpsed again. We saw working lives, traditions, munitions, children playing in the streets, classrooms and colleges. Clips documented Scottish industry some now gone, others still going strong.  Shipbuilding, mining, fishing. Harris Tweed to Silicon Glen. we saw those being buried at home, those sailing off to foreign shores for a new life.  Holiday camps, funfairs, the Scottish seaside  – turning blue in the water,  warming up with chips on the prom.    So many faces, so many stories, most unknown, unheard, unremarkable, remembered only by a few, but now for a moment they are alive again. Everyday lives, ordinary moments, made magical.


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