A la Recherche…

… du Temps Perdu.

Isn’t it strange how sometimes the past can jump out behind you and bite you on the bum?

Last weekend my son (finally) left home aged 23 to go to university as a mature student. This event brought back a lot of memories of the good times we had together, going back to the period before he hit the teenage doldrums. I’m happy to admit I made a conscious decision to indulge myself with those memories – for a week or two. Why not?

Then a couple of days later I went hunting through the cupboards for a household item I hadn’t used for ages, and opened a few doors which remain closed for years at a time. I found a box of “collectables” (as Ebay would classify them) which I’d thought had been binned the last time we moved house – 1999.

A Real Ticket

It’s airline “junk” picked up on my travels in the 80s and 90s. Wow! More memories.
The Estonian Air ticket is from a flight from Vilnius to Tallinn in 1997. I’d been asked to go there on short notice at the end of a week working in Vilnius, to spend the Friday “lobbying” in support of a project we were going to bid for.


This meant 7 meetings in one day at various ministries, and probably the British Embassy and the EU Delegation too. I had to walk from place to place as they were all in the Old Town and it’s car free. It was November. The streets were covered in slushy snow. It was cold, wet, dark and horrible.


A challenging day, if I can put it like that.

We didn’t get the project. I suspect we didn’t even bid. After my visit we were approached by someone in a position of influence who offered to make sure we’d win if we made it worth his while. End of story. We didn’t do that.

Estonian Air shut down in 2015. My hoarded memorabilia contains items from many long lost names – Dan Air, Lauda Air and Air Inter, to name just a few.

East Meets West

The Cathay Pacific menu is from a trip to Singapore from Bangkok. I think it was with the Former Wife, probably in 1990 or ’91. We’d have been on holiday in Thailand and then went to visit a mutual friend who emigrated from Scotland to Singapore in 1986 (and has been there ever since).

Cathay’s on board service was wonderful even in economy class. Mixed salad, then stir fried beef with noodles or sautéed scallops with leeks and fried rice. Nice wines too. A white Cotes de Duras 1988… a vintage Sekt.


ⓒ iain taylor, 2017

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