14th August 1987
It is entirely self-evident that the 14th August 1987 is getting on for nearly 22 years ago. And, it is certainly no great surprise to get pulled up short by the recurring realisation that things that feel like yesterday are actually a quarter of a century ago.
Yesterday, I spent a pleasant hour or so pottering round the second-hand bookshops of Stockbridge, largely sniffing out photography books. I came across a book called “One Day For Life”. It is a charity book produced for a cancer trust made up of photos submitted by the public (and some celebs*) on 14th August 1987.
There are some decent photos in it, but it doesn’t really stand out as a photography book; it does provide an excellent snapshot of that point in time. And this is the striking thing. It is one thing to perceive that time to be drifting into the past, it is quite another to see it looking like the past. To me, 1987 doesn’t feel that long ago. But there it is, in print, looking like a bygone era. Which, of course, it is.
There is probably extra resonance for me. August 1987 was just before I started University. I was 17, skinny and about to leave Edinburgh to live in Glasgow. Here I am today, 39 and, well, fat. Still think I’m 17 but I’d guess I’m kinda quite different to that little scrawn now.
Makes me think that a similar project now might not be a bad idea at all. Anyone up for it?
* Gloria Hunniford & Terry Wogan et al – you get the picture