It's strange how different the passage of 25 years seems from subjective and objective viewpoints.
When I was 11 and a bit, my parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Then, and now, looking back at the photographs of their wedding day in May 1939 it seems like a different world, which of course it was.
Pre-war, but with clouds thundering on the horizon, the society that enjoyed those last few weeks of peace was soon to be swept away, and daily life changed out of all recognition. To me it was history, the past, something I read about in books or saw in the flickering black and white images of the old two minutes-worth of movie film taken as the bride and groom exited the church. I had no appreciation of the continuity of their lives from that moment up to the anniversary. I was an objective observer.
Now, subjectively, I look back on my own 25 years, and it seems like the blink of an eye. Yet the early 1980's were also a different world. The Iron Curtain had yet to fall. We worried about IRA bombs rather than those of Muslim extremists. European travel involved border crossings, passport stamps and wonderful currencies. Roads were less congested. Convenience foods were few and far between.
I've been trying to recall how I washed my clothes whilst at Theological College in Salisbury. The College had its own Utility Room, but I don't think I used it more than once. I have faint memories of sitting in a Laudrette in Fisherton Street, and I know I washed some stuff by hand in the bathroom of the "digs" that four of us occupied, but the details are a blank.
Some clergy celebrate their 25th anniversary with a special service or a parish party. That's not for me. Today is a marker on the journey, and gives a certain sense of satisfaction that I've made it this far, but I don't intend to wave flags or inflate balloons.
25 years ago today I first put on a clerical collar. These days I hardly ever wear it. "O tempora o mores!"