The volume of material on offer means that there are many and varied points of entry for Kieron Dawson's 13 years in the professional game.
The now Brighton-based former flanker, who played 21 times for Ireland in the late '90s and early 2000s, was present at probably the national side's lowest point in Lens when they exited the 1999 World Cup to Argentina.
Then, just a few months later, he played on the day Brian O'Driscoll exploded into world rugby's consciousness with his audacious hat-trick in Paris when Ireland beat France away for the first time in nearly 20 years - and, of course, for all O'Driscoll's chutzpah, the result was secured thanks to David Humphreys' winning penalty.
He also played over 200 times for London Irish before finishing his career with three years at an Ulster side - initially coached by his former Exiles team-mate Mark McCall - starting to unravel, the cracks beginning to show not long after Dawson arrived the season following their Celtic League triumph of 2006.
There were cliques forming with the players and the older players began losing faith with those who were moaning and being poisonous.
But, instead, something more contemporary demands immediate attention.
"I caught the coronavirus about eight weeks ago," the 45-year-old former Bangor Grammar pupil says.
"It knocked me out for a week and it took about four or five weeks to really get my breath back.
"My wife Hannah also got it quite badly and she had shallow breathing for a couple of nights but she recovered.
"As for the kids (son Harley and step-daughters Cameron and Charlotte), one of them had a cough and the other two had zero symptoms."
He can't be certain how he might have picked it up, but the family are fine now and Dawson is back exploring the work environment again.
Since retiring at Ulster in 2009 and moving back to England, the Bangor native has been buying, selling and renovating properties both in England and back home in Northern Ireland.
Though rugby is no longer front and centre in Dawson's life - after several years as head coach at Worthing Rugby Club he now only helps out at Brighton College - the memories are still fresh and clearly important to him.
The final years of his career are the most vivid as he not only fulfilled his dream to actually play for Ulster but also witnessed a squad entering a dark place both on and off the pitch.
"It was a strange time," he adds of McCall's early departure and Matt Williams' short tenure before putting his own slant on what has been a rarely discussed period in terms of the in-house view.
"It was a real shame the way it ended (for McCall).
"I remember we had a meeting, a bizarre meeting. Mark called it and it was actually about whether we wanted him to continue coaching.
"The vast majority of people did but I've spoken to him subsequently and he said he would have loved to have gone out the door right then."
McCall did quit in November 2007 before, of course, rediscovering his coaching mojo at the now very much crisis-hit Saracens.
"We knew he was a great coach," says Dawson. "But there was poison in there (at Ulster) and if it's there, there is nothing you can do about it.
"There were cliques forming with the players and the older players began losing faith with those who were moaning and being poisonous.
"A lot of blame for all this was laid at the wrong door."
The deteriorating environment was added to by the team, perhaps not surprisingly, getting too closely acquainted with poor form.
"We were losing, and losing games we should have been winning," says Dawson.
"We were making mistakes and that's fine as long as your mate behind you is trying to cover you but we weren't doing that and that only exacerbated cracks in the squad."
Williams then arrived in early 2008 a few months after McCall had left and persuaded the flanker to hang on for another year.
As Dawson explains: "Matt wanted me to stay and bring on some of the younger players and act as a mentor to them.
"I actually really enjoyed that even though I only played a handful of games in my final season."
If it ended rather tamely that's not how things started out for Dawson as the sport was finding its feet professionally.
"Clive Woodward (then London Irish coach) came over to meet me after watching me playing for Ireland U21s and getting a recommendation from David Humphreys," he says.
"I was still a student at Queen's at the time and living with my parents and when I saw the contract on offer, well, I certainly tried to play my best poker face."
He played alongside McCall, Humphreys, Jeremy Davidson, Malcolm O'Kelly and other notable names in his early days at the Exiles and fully invested in London life.
Whereas the others moved on, Dawson chose to stick around even though the IRFU's policy regarding selecting players outside the Irish provinces turned to favour those who were at home.
He has no regrets regarding his decision, though it meant he also missed out on being in line to collect a European Cup medal with Ulster in 1999.
Even so, he still played for Ireland over a six-year period and vividly recalls his first cap in autumn 1997, a typically brave defeat against the All Blacks in Dublin.
"I remember running onto Lansdowne Road that day and, well, just hollering or whooping as this really was every kid's dream," he says.
Such emotion didn't come with the baggage of 1999's shock World Cup departure against Argentina in the forgettable northern French town of Lens. It's still raw enough over 20 years on.
"You put it in a box under the bed, don't you?" he quips.
At least some of the scar tissue was healed when Ireland stormed the Stade de France some months later to beat Les Bleus for the first time on their home turf since 1972.
"We went there with no fear," says Dawson, who carried an injury into the game and didn't last the full 80 minutes. "But I was there when Brian O'Driscoll became a superstar and then, afterwards, what a night that was in Paris."
Just over three years later he played his last game for Ireland in the warm-ups for the 2003 World Cup and a further three years on from that and it was all over at London Irish with Dawson and coach Brian Smith having, well, no relationship whatsoever.
"He wanted rid of me and I wanted out of there," is how he puts it.
It might have all ended there, but he couldn't turn down his final deal.
"I didn't think the opportunity with Ulster would ever come and it really was a dream to then play for them."
And with Dawson's memories well and truly raided, it's back to reality and what to do about the current construction project.