Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Puppy Love and an Anniversary

I miss the exact day every year but sometime last week this blog was four years old, yes FOUR. That's positively geriatric in blog-years. When I look back to early posts, it's clear that I had in mind at the beginning to be rather less circumspect and more personal than I have become. That's fine, one of the things I learnt very early on was that, on the whole, people aren't interested in reading The Diary of a Nobody.

However, it has been a peculiar couple of weeks, marked by an absence here. Both my remaining grandparents contrived to die within a week of each other. In fact, my Grandfather (Dad's dad) died on the day of my Nan's (Mum's mum) funeral. While I wouldn't wish her any harm in this life or the next I wasn't close to my nan and her passing was simply the end of a very tired old lady (93) who was very ready to go. On the other hand, I had enormous respect and affection for my granddad who even at 92 was stil living in his own home, up to a couple of weeks before he died, and whose funeral was attended by nearly forty people from his Army Association, his sculpture class, from the local pub, the bowls club and from all the other parts of his long and honourable life. All this has made for inclement blogging weather...

So, who is the blurred little chap above? Well as I was going through a box of old photos, of mine, he fell out. He was called Ruslan, presumably still is as he's the same age as me. I remember the name well of course because one of the first things he explained to me when we met at age 11 or 12 was that his name came from an opera by Glinka because his dad was an opera fan. I was so taken with his name that I don't remember his surname at all. We only knew each other for a week or so but he is the first person that I can remember ever having a crush on. We met on a week long natural history activity camp and never since, but in that week we were inseperable and I was completely besotted. I remember we were going to set up a comic together in which all the characters would be beans, yes beans... he spent a lot of time drawing the various characters. So completely taken up was I by him that I remember precious little of the week apart from him: sitting in the grass talking and drawing, standing close together in the heat and red light of the photography darkroom, being painfully out of breath together during the orienteering course... I think about him quite often. I don't imagine posting this grainy photo of him will worry anyone but should you happen to come this way Ruslan, or anyone who knows you, perhaps you'll say hi... Stranger things have happened.


clixchix said...

Crikey! Well, you're right. Stranger things have happened. He may well still be out there somewhere, and with that beautiful if unusual name, someone may well see your posting and get in touch with you or mention it to him. I hope so. Unless of course as an adult his name was altered for convenience sake. Like my grandfather who throughout the years of his childhood went by his given name Theopholus, or Theo for short, but as an adult for some reason went by the name of Bob!

My sympathies for your losses. Your Grandfather sounds quite a character. Sculpture class! My word!

DA said...

Thanks for sharing this photo Callum -- he looks like a sweet boy and that name, Ruslan, is wonderful. The blurriness conjures that sense of memory from your reminiscence itself.

That age of eleven or twelve can be such a magical one for friendship (or crushes!).

Andrew Craig Williams said...

Your memories of Ruslan just made my heart flip over.

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