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jeudi 12 avril 2012

K is for...

Kirkcaldy.

Pronounced "cur-coddy" by those in the know (the East Neukers, then).

Memory's a funny thing. I often wonder why certain things stick in your mind, whilst others just disappear. I mean, I lived in a beautiful Georgian terrace house for a couple of years maybe when I was very, very small (about 2 years old, I think). I've seen pictures of the house, the garden. I've been past it (rarely, but past it) since then. But I don't remember that house - or, rather, all I remember is that there were slaters in the kitchen and an orange carpet somewhere upstairs. I mean, WTF?

And Kirkcaldy? Well, Kirkcaldy is a town near St Andrews, which is where I was a student many moons ago. Whilst St Andrews is a picturesque, quaint town steeped in history, Kirkcaldy...isn't. Yes, it has a history, but nothing to match that of St Andrews.

I may be being very unfair to the place. Maybe it's a beautiful place (I don't think so though).

I have only been there once, and I remember virtually nothing about the circumstances of my visit. My then-roommate and I decided not to go into Dundee (the nearest big town to St Andrews) one Saturday before Christmas, and instead trekked out to Kirkcaldy, presumably by bus (as I said, I really don't remember).

I have no idea why we would have done this, though I have the vaguest of notions that a pair of green trousers was involved. Don't ask for more details, I don't have any!

What I do remember is thinking that if the Apocalypse were to actually happen, the world would probably end up looking like Kirkcaldy. It struck me (that winter Saturday back in...holy crap... 1987) as the greyest, most miserable place I'd ever seen. Obviously, not many places in East Fife look good in winter (including St Andrews), so I'm almost certainly being unfair. I'm not imagining the hideous chemical smell that seemed to dominate the town though - that was true enough, a reminder of the town's linoleum-making. I also remember that the inhabitants looked kind of grey and depressed too.

All in all, the town left a strange, incomplete memory in my head. I just have to hear the word (which I admittedly don't, very often) and an image of greyness cloaked in a chemical smell immediately comes to mind.

During those years in St Andrews, I visited plenty of other places. Yet I don't remember their names or even anything about them. Yet I do remember (albeit not very well) that one-off visit to Kirkcaldy.

And when I'm called upon to think of a word starting with the letter K for an exercise like this one, after my first name, this is the first word that springs to mind. Even though I only went there once, more than 24 years ago.



Memory really is a strange thing, don't you think?

2 commentaires:

Damyanti a dit…

Lovely name for a lovely town!
---Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012
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Twitter: @AprilA2Z
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Dawn Embers a dit…

Memory is a real strange thing indeed. Nice post for today.