Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A big nostalgia trip

I do this every now and then.

I expect I'm not alone, I think trying to get back to times when we felt good is a pretty common human thing.

I do it with all sorts of things; books, films, food, clothes, music especially.

I had this weird kind of flashback at the weekend. A couple of weeks ago I bought a dress, nothing expensive - it was from New Look - but it looks very 1970s - almost like something Geraldine James wore in the TV adaptation of The History Man, chiffony thing, black with paisley bits on it, patterns. Very hippyish.

OK, now , it is a bit short and I intended to wear it with jeans but at the weekend I wore it with purple opaques and flat black boots (stick with this guys, it isn't actually a fashion post really) and a leather bomber jacket. I thought it looked pretty good, so with some beads and an ethnic scarf it made a look. You know what, it made me feel about 18 or 20 and brought back a huge number of memories, plenty of them musical ones.

It got me picking out stuff I listened to back when I was a student; things like The Who circa Who's Next, Wish You Were Here, Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane, Lou Reed etc. I've been playing a lot of Nick Drake, Roy Harper (Lifemask, Stormcock), John Martyn and Sandy Denny too.

I looked out my Laurence Durrell novels too The Alexandria Quartet, I think I'll read him again - and Paul Scott's Raj Quartet too.

I am even thinking about doing a retro meal at the weekend; Steak Diane, Black Forest Gateau and a Brie and Danish Blue cheeseboard with white grapes on the side maybe? Think I'll miss out the dodgy Liebfraumilch and Mateus Rose though.

Anyway, cutting to the chase, Does anyone else ever get as timewarped as this, or am I just a bit weird?


nilpferd said...

sounds normal to me, carole.. I always get nostalgic in autumn because for some reason the air here smells most like it does in NZ.. all those rotting leaves, probably.. Autumn in NZ starts in March-April, at the universities I attended there that was the beginning of a new study year and accompanied by a student orientation with lots of great bands, so come autumn I always get the urge to go into cramped, smokey pubs and listen to loud bands while consuming large quantities of beer. I'll be more likely to wear my ratty old leather jacket with some boots, whereas in summer I tend to dress more smartly. Actually, where most people here tend to take autumn as heralding in the end of the year, I'm actually most energised and looking forward to things. Foodwise though I've been won over by the great autumn assortment here- mushrooms, cheese, festival beers, pumpkins, Beaujolais, a particular sort of Alsatian pate with a pastry case, which is a definite improvement on what I was eating in my early student days..

Tatanka Yotanka said...

Mmmm, I'll come to your retro meal...and bring my own Party 7. Got any straws?

May1366 said...

Mention of autumn, the fact that I'm (albeit in another University in another town) coming into contact with fresher students at the moment, the fact that most days I'll be walking or driving along Penny Lane which is opposite the Halls of Residence I was in when moving to Liverpool, and most especially because of having just recalled Roddy Frame's Jump on the unlikely covers thread, and Orange Juice's I Can't Help Myself on ToffeeBoy's homonym thread, I'm very thoroughly back in late 1985 and the memories of coming to Liverpool as a student. Frame and Collins sported the haircuts we tried to emulate at Victor's on Whitechapel, where the Bunnymen and Everton midfielder Paul Bracewell reputedly got their hair cut. Vic probably didn't get to do much to Ian McCulloch's black fountain of hair, which I saw once leaning forward to pick up a cup of tea in his mum's front room, opposite Greenbank Park.
Can't say I'm making an attempt to recreate the food I ate back then but I'm tucking in my shirts more than throughout the dress-down 90s and noughties.

alimunday said...

Carole - I think I live in a timewarp, I still look pretty much the same and dress pretty much the same as I did in the 70s (give or take 2 stone and some grey hair)- this time of year when the nights are drawing in I think of the old Colston Hall in Bristol and waiting outside for friends to turn up prior to seeing the band of the moment - Strawbs, Barclay James, Stackridge, Camel, Al Stewart, Roxy Music, Rush, Nils Lofgren, Rory Gallagher and many more ... all for 50p in the choir seats at the back of the stage. And a bottle or two of Barley Wine (23p) in the bar. (And no, I couldn't drink the stuff now if you paid me!)

CaroleBristol said...

@alimunday - Ah Camel! A great live band. Amazingly I recently bought their eponymous first album and their second, Mirage, for a fiver each in Fopp on College Green.

They bring back memories, lots of good ones, as does listening to my Nektar album, A Tab In The Ocean and Man's Back To The Future which I bought earlier this year on CD, I was at the Roundhouse when they recorded the live bits of that with The Gwalia Male Voice Choir.

treefrogdemon said...

Although I'm not really interested in clothes I have noticed in recent years that there are clothes in the shops that my younger self would have loved...I'm a hippy at heart and my best-looking years were spent with long, hennaed and frizzed hair, wearing long dresses and lots of children didn't let me pick them up from school as I looked so different from the other mums (I was a lot YOUNGER for a start!)...I had to wait up the hill from the school for them.

Frogprincess said...

Oooh can I come? I'll bring the starter. Prawn cocktail with pink cocktail sauce.... Retro? You bet !!! And that outfit sounds great.

alimunday said...

And don't forget the obligatory enormous tin of Jackpot Bitter which needs a special implement to open ... and is virtually impossible to open at all if you have already had a few drinks of something else. Rather like the scene with a tin of pineapple in Three Men in a Boat,where they hammer the tin with every implement they can find and it ends up with one great dent across the top that looks like a mocking grin, and they get so mad with it they hurl it into the river and shout curses at it.I'll stick with the Blue Nun!

DarceysDad said...

Hi all.

I'm supposed to be working - helping to tidy my customer's premises that I can't run a training course in because it got robbed'n'trashed on Weds night - but I couldn't resist this:

Carole - either you're absolutely normal, or I'm identically weird!

On 11th November 1979 I saw Motorhead supported by Saxon at Chester ABC; for my birthday-gig-night-out this year (OK, OK, a fortnight early!) I'll be at Manchester Apollo on 14th November to see ... Motorhead supported by Saxon!!

I'm really hoping that Lemmy et al are as good as ever, and that Biff & chums are as appallingly bad as ever.


Oh, and I'll almost certainly be wearing a UFO T-shirt, a 40-y.o. denim jacket, jeans and Adidas Gazelles.

TracyK said...

I kind of know what you mean Carole, the right outfit, put together properly can make you feel very peculiar. I have had things in the past which made me feel a certain way while I was wearing them. Unfortunately all my vintage clothes went before we went to Japan, as I have mentioned before. As someone who likes to hoard, this meant getting rid of a huge vintage clothes, books and knickknackery collection, which still makes my heart race just thinking about it. I had a little 60s suit, black peplum jacket trimmed at the lapel and pockets with blue and black tartan, with a matching A line mini. Just wearing it made me feel fun, especially when worn with a pair or vintage winkle-pinkers. I sometimes feel like the character in Margaret Atwood's Lady Oracle, a fantastic book about identity, memory and the creation of self. The lead character has a chameleonic personality and adopts different styles as her life changes and she becomes different personae. One of my favourite quotes in literature actually: "I thought if I could only get the clothes right, everything else would fall into line. And it did." I really recommend Atwood, she so understands women.

CaroleBristol said...

That suit sounds knockout, Tracy.

I used to have a couple of Biba dresses from the classic days in the High St Kensington store but they succumbed to age a while ago. I was heartbroken when I had ti throw them out - even though they didn't really fit any more.

TracyK said...

ARGH! I just missed out on two pairs of vintage Biba multicoloured platforms in a charity shop in Mill Hill once: I managed to pick up a green lurex full length disco dress with gold and purple chevrons and a couple of other bits and the lady told me if I'd been 5 minutes earlier, I could've got a lot more. I sometimes think I was born in the wrong (fashion) era.

treefrogdemon said...

I have a Biba T shirt which is still OK, but I can't wear it at the mo because of too much chocolate...I used to have a collection of costumes, as I'd been wardrobe mistress for several drama groups and always gave myself the best costume, which I then kept; when my marriage broke up and I moved away I thought I wouldn't be doing any more acting so I gave them away to a young punk girl I knew, who was the only person I thought might actually wear them ever. Regrets, I've had a few, and I hadn't stopped acting, no not at all.

treefrogdemon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bethnoir said...

Ah, I had a Biba velvet black long coat/cardigan which I loved (having bought it in a charity shop) and I swear I didn't throw it away, but I've lost it. You reminded me.

I agree with everyone else, in my case it is more the 80s that my favourite look was formed, but once I've got the stripey tights, big soled boots and something short and black usually involving some embroidery, ribbon, lace or net, with the obligatory amount of waterproof black eyeliner, I return to the time of my choosing and feel supremely comfortable and confident.

I shall have to go into New Look, I fancy a bit of hippyish colour to dilute my wardrobe it's gone very dark lately. Thanks for the post Carole, good to remember.