Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Imminent Anniversaries

Time has been much on my mind recently. I'm almost forty-four. It's very strange to be the same age as many political leaders, business leaders, and so forth. It's very strange (and disorientating) to realize that the generation of political leaders, athletes, entertainers etc. that I grew up with have mostly retired or passed away-- less so in the case of entertainers, since they can go on forever, but certainly the other groups.

The headmaster of my primary school died this year. Although it was an untimely death, it's quite sobering to realize that most of my teachers would now be retired.

This year there happens to be a lot of anniversaries in my life. First off, my mother died in 2001, so the twentieth anniversary for that has already passed. My eleven months in the Allen Library was twenty years ago. Of course, there is the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, which will be a big deal for all of us, and the memory of which is bound up with my other anniversaries. (It's also disorientating to realize that the undergraduates I serve in the library don't even remember 9/11.)

Remarkably, two big anniversaries will fall on exactly the same day: I started working in UCD Library on the 15th October 2001, and ten years later to the day (by sheer coincidence) I began this blog.

I've been wondering how I can celebrate both these anniversaries-- suggestions welcome. I celebrated ten years in UCD by casually (over a period of weeks) asking my colleagues their favourite chocolate bars, and by bringing in two of each for them, along with other treats. I left them by a list of the things that were happening in the world (and sport, entertainment etc.) at the time I began in UCD. (Someone else copied this latter idea for a similar event, which I took as a compliment.)

This year I was thinking of something more goofy-- like giving a "lecture" on the vice-Presidents of Canada, or something equally obscure. I don't know if I have the audacity for that, though.

I like the idea of celebrating these milestones in some way. I think there should be a lot more ritual and ceremony in our lives.


  1. Can't say I've ever celebrated anything like that.
    An iconic photo was recently posted on a news service labelled '(Princess) Diana getting Mike Hucknall'; he was the only one still alive in the image- George Michael, Freddie Mercury and David Bowie (who admittedly was getting older at his death, comparatively anyway) (and possibly Laura Branigan- couldn't make out if it was her) all stood in a row to greet HRH. But maybe remembering an era that younger peoples cannot can be an achievement it quality in itself?

    1. Yes, it could be looked at that way, too. It's no small thing to live through whole historical periods and generations. It gives depth to the spectacle of life.

  2. Two typos,sorry.
    GREETING Mike Hucknall...
    achievement OR quality..