Discrete memory I have. I can remember with blinding clarity certain moments in my past. But, ask me to tell you when I bought a matchbook in Calcutta and I'll draw a blank. Oddly enough, most of the women in my life can recite a day in the life, chapter and verse. It's not that my memory has been gutted by drugs and alcohol, I never could produce an answer to Perry Mason. "Where were you on June 17th!!!!!!! I honestly don't have a clue. I never did. Date and memory took a journal and a calendar.
Life has shown this to be a singular flaw. It's not a place to hide, it really truly is a place where people will ask me, don't you remember and the answer isn't good. If I can put a place to an image in my mind's eye I can remember it just fine. 3D and in color. Now ask me the year and date of that memory. My only saving grace is that I can put memories in a box defined by where I was at that time. God help me if I was always in the same place trying to recall. That would be hopeless.
I have crystal clear memories of things that happened but the date is never part of the memory. I can only estimate based on the images.
I listen to things spoken, such as this, "your grandmother bought this in Denmark in 1936," and I'll be honest, how in the world do you remember buying a matchbook in Denmark before WWII? How can you tell me that 70 years later?
So drat. I enjoyed Memories by Jackie Fisher. I bought the original in Newport long ago and gave it away. I think it needs buying again....oh, and Dave, also the wonderful book by the Polar Admiral, it has a green cover. If you've still got it, I will pay for shipping and also the autobiography of Jackie Fisher.