I read somewhere that the things that you are passionate about as a child, stay with you for life. They say it is similar to buying a computer: when young, the things you become passionate about go onto your hard drive, as you age and your tastes alter it is similar to buying software, but the hard disk info remains.
With me this is oh so true - images, aromas, sounds take me immediately back to an earlier time, the music, for example, of my early teens may not be great music, but oh does it affect me still! I only have to hear the opening bars of Daydream Believer by the Monkees, and I am back, 12 years of age, and all that it implies. I re-read books that I loved as a youngster, it is I accept a strange mix, Jennings is in there, as growing up on a council estate the tales of public school life fascinated me. How I longed for tuck boxes and dormitory life, tales of Nelson's time with Alexander Kent, the Bolitho novels' tales of sailing the seven seas held me in their sway, but there were also tales of The Man from Uncle mixed up with Gerald Durrell's weird family and love of animals.
To this day I read these books, but now I collect, when I can, signed 1st editions, so they are read and enjoyed with care.
But back to the music. I mentioned the Monkees, I know I should get out more, but there it is! Anyway, Mike Nesmith, yes the one with the bobble hat, had not until this year performed in the UK for over 20 years. He quietly put together a low profile tour to test the audience reaction, just three venues Manchester, Glasgow and London, and yes, I got tickets, and was present at the Manchester School of music nice and early, enjoying a quiet drink in the bar, with about 40 minutes to go. I popped out to check the parking restrictions for my car, and whilst walking back a minibus pulled up at a side entrance and the man himself stepped out and walked past me into the building, being British I of course did not speak, but a small thrill none the less.
The concert was enjoyed by all, not the bobble-hatted youngster we remember, but, like myself ,a balding 60 odd year old, but for me, and the others present, wonderful all the same. He must have enjoyed the experience himself as subsequently he has toured in the US with great success.
So remember, nostalgia is to be basked in, jump in with both feet, enjoy reliving old memories and experiences. The books loved as a child are a great place to start, introduce Arthur Ransome to the grand-children, read again Malcolm Saville's Lone Pine Stories or Enid Blyton's enthralling world of Famous Five and Secret Seven. Dig out and listen again to The Monkees, Beatles, Dave Dee Dozy Titch et al, give your personal hard drive a dusting off, you might be pleasantly surprised, it might be rubbish - but you'll love it.
Contributed by Martyn