As I stood in the shop one day

Yesterday afternoon the sound of “Greensleeves” drifted through the open door of the shop. It wasn’t the instrumental version, with its memories of school music lessons and a youthful Henry VIII, but the tinny ice cream van version. According to the Wikipedia entry for Greensleeves, it’s probably not by Henry VIII, and it is a common earworm.

Where do I go from here?

I could discuss Henry VIII. I could talk about the psychology of ice cream van music.  Or I could tell you that when I was working in Africa a letter arrived from my mother telling me my cousin had been killed on his motorcycle I had Linda Ronstadt’s Blue Bayou playing at the time.

Every time I hear the song it takes me back to that letter. Everytime I think of that letter, the song starts in my head. And every time the subject of earworms crops up the whole thing starts going round in my head. It doesn’t happen often, but like now, when it crops up the whole thing starts again.

Forty years have passed since it happened and though the image is fresh in my mind, it’s simply there and no longer evokes any emotion. This might be natural, or it may be I’m just not very sensitive.

It’s the same with the car accident flashbacks. After a lifetime of driving I’ve been in a few accidents and near misses as driver or passenger. With one exception, which happened nearly 30 years ago, they’ve not really made much of a mental impression on me.

One of them caused flashbacks. I don’t know why, but for a while I was getting two or three a week. They gradually declined over the first year until it was one or two a year, then none for a couple of years. However, when they did come they were quite disturbing. The last one was about five years ago and it woke me up with a feeling of panic just as I was drifting off to sleep.

Since then I’ve rarely thought of it and it no longer bothers me when I do. It’s now just a memory.

I suppose this is how we are meant to be – you can’t worry about everything in life or you’d break down.

Well, that’s been quite a journey – from ice cream vans to road traffic accidents. All I meant to say was that after two fire engines and a police car it was nice to hear an ice cream van.

19 thoughts on “As I stood in the shop one day

  1. Donnalee

    I think it’s healthy to have to flashbacks, face them, have a good cry or whatever, and then they really do fade. Otherwise they recur because you haven’t used them up, so to speak–

    Any thoughts on the new ‘Paddington sitting on a chamber pot’ 50 p coin…? I vote that it could have been made to look more like sitting on a suitcase, myself.

    1. quercuscommunity

      Now you’ve mentioned it all I can see is Paddington on the potty. I’m not a great fan of most of the modern issues – they just don’t strike them properly and leave them looking flat, shiny and featureless.

      We just bought some Jeremy Fisher 50p coins – they are 2017 coins which have just been released into circulation. They hold them back so the Royal Mint can sell all its expensive “special editions”.

  2. Laurie Graves

    So true. How music can invoke memories. Ice cream is always a great comfort. While I like most flavors, chocolate remains a favorite.

      1. Laurie Graves

        Vanilla is tasty. One of my favorite flavors to use in cooking. Next time someone sniffs at vanilla, remind them how flat it would be to have a world without vanilla.

  3. derrickjknight

    Fine thoughts, Quercus. Music can be such a trigger. When young, Jackie and I had been fans of Tom Paxton. During our 40 years apart I could not listen to him


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