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The moral rights of the author and editors have been asserted.
When I started this work, I was surprised at the way that vivid memories of the time were brought to life again, even after the passage of the years. I was encouraged by some thoughts of Harold Macmillan to reflect that:
Those of us who have reached extreme old age become gradually reconciled to increasing infirmities, mental and physical. The body develops, with each passing year, fresh weaknesses. Our legs no longer carry us; eyesight begins to fail, and hearing becomes feebler. Even with the mind, the process of thought seems largely to decrease in its power and its intensity; and if we are wise we come to accept these frailties and develop, like all invalids, our own particular skills in avoiding or minimising them. But there is one aspect of the mind which seems to operate in a peculiar fashion. While memory becomes gradually weaker in respect of recent happenings and even of the leading events of middle age, yet it appears to become increasingly strong as regards the years of childhood and youth. It is as if new entries played into an ageing computer become gradually less effective while the original stores remain as strong as ever. This phenomenon has the result that as the memory of so many much more important matters begins to fade; those of many years ago become sharper than before. The recent writings on the tablets of the mind grow quickly weak as if made by a light brush or soft pencil. Those of the earliest years become more and more deeply etched. The pictures which they recall are as fresh as ever. Indeed they seem to strengthen with each passing year.
When I started to write, it was not my intention that this would be read by anyone but I later thought it might be of some interest as a story of my times.
Jack Adams, August 1999