I have always been a nostalgic person, even when I was quite young. Once life started to become ‘modern’, in the late 1960s, I was only 16, and already looking back to when I was at primary school, spending a lot more time around my family, and living close to the docks in South London.
Once I was in my twenties, and married, I looked back on my teens as my ‘golden years’, before the onset of adulthood and responsibility made me into a different person. I backed this up by having a collection of records from long before I was even born, the dance bands and crooners of the 1920s. I preferred the fashions of those pre-war years too, and often felt I had been born in the wrong decade.
That applied to films too. I was never happier than when watching the musicals of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, or the ‘film-noir’ productions of the late 1930s and 1940s. My favourite architecture was Art Deco, and my favourite painter was Tamara De Lempicka. The singer I listened to more than any other was Al Bowlly, who was killed during the bombing of London in 1941.
By the time I turned 40, I had moved back to the area of London where I grew up, and revelled in the nostalgia that surrounded me, even though the Docklands Developments of the early 1980s had changed parts of it beyond recognition.
During my time as an EMT, I always felt that job was better during the first ten years I did it. Once it became more complex, and the staff more self-important, I would drone on about how much better it had been in the past. I couldn’t shake that feeling, despite being advised by everyone to ‘look forward, not back’.
Once I retired in 2012 and moved away from London, I wallowed in nostalgia on a daily basis. As any regular reader of this blog will know, I not only have a Category that covers nostalgia posts, I write them and publish them all the time. I hasten to add that I am not seeing the past through rose-tinted glasses. I am well-aware of how much harder life was for so many back then, and even more so when I was a child.
But I loved it, and I am not apologising for being nostalgic.