Sunday, August 17, 2008

Danger In The Past

Time for number six in the possibly never-ending story of Darren’s List.

Darren has the uncanny ability to know better than I do exactly which song I need to hear. “Goodbye”, by Mary Hopkin, is one such song. In fact Mary Hopkin I was aware of only vaguely, in name only. Or so I thought, until about 15 seconds into this song when, Wham, I was transported immediately back to the start of the 1970s, when I was a small boy, playing with my limited selection of Matchbox cars and Lego on the lounge room floor, transforming the checked rug in front of the couch into some kind of elaborate cityscape. Dad was either out fixing fencing wires that had been run through by kangaroos or playing lawn bowls somewhere, mum was performing whatever unacknowledged miracles the mothers of small boys perform in the kitchen, and this song, as often as not, or so it seemed, was on the radio. And I hadn’t heard it since.

The wonder of being transported back to another time and place, though, is only shortlived. I tried to listen to it again just now and all that happened was I was listening to a song. A very nice song, yes, but not, as such, A Piece Of My Life.

I had a similar experience to this a little while ago when Adrienne brought home a bottle of A2 milk. Milk these days is produced, primarily by large black-and-white cows called Frisians, for volume. It is a pale and pathetic version of the milk I grew up with. We had Jerseys, lovely pale-brown cows with big eyes, who gave not so much milk but what they gave was rich and creamy. Not many farmers produce this milk any more (curse you, The Heart Foundation). Everybody wants to be lean and mean. So it is many years since I have tasted “real” milk. But some studies have shown that people are missing out on some of the goodness that used to be in milk, and A2 milk has been “invented” to fill that gap. Anyway, Adrienne made a batch of pikelets using this bottle of A2 milk. And on the first bite, Ker-pow!, I was back at the farm. But, like Mary Hopkin, with the second bite it was just a pikelet.

Perhaps in 20 years time we will try the A2 pikelet experiment again. But I think I will be listening to “Goodbye” many times before then.