Saturday, 20 March 2010


What is it with nostalgia?

A little glimpse of times past via a song, smell, brand of sweet, food, TV programme, advert and you get this little gooey rush. All you need is a name - especially one that you have forgotten and are being reminded of - to spark off this process.

I have been reading 'One Day' by David Nicholls. It's a really light-hearted and quite touching read about a couple over twenty years - after their first proper encounter the day they graduate. You get a snapshot of their lives on 15th July from 1988 to...well I haven't got there yet. The way they change with age - from hot-headed, slightly naive, 'it's all about 'cool' and 'passion' and grabbing at life to becoming more mature and reflective - is brilliantly done. Thing is too - they're my era - just a little older than me - so the book causes nostalgic twinges throughout.

Anyway, it was just one word that found me squashed at the end of the sofa with a warm feeling inside and a wistful smirk and that was:


Oh and half pences!
What sets you off?


  1. Actually, in the book I think THEY were being nostalgic about Spangles! They were a 70s thing yes?

  2. Parallel lives again...I am planning to read that book next - the blurb captured me. And sounds like they would be exactly my age then. you remember when they introduced the Olde English ones? I was crazy about them.

    Pear drops, choppers, fountain pens, french skipping...I could go on and on.

  3. Did you say Spangles Molly P?
    It was my kidding! The man who gave me the name died about four years ago. He found out I liked them and would often reward me with them while working on his farm. He never found out WHY I liked them. Actually, I'm going to save the answer for a post in the near future. They were way before the 70's and have some significance in my life.
    I've just got to read that book. I love the past, live in it too much, learn so much from it and I'm even regarded as history...bit unkind but there you go. If it's well written-all the better. should go on. We lived through an incredible period of time.

  4. Hi James and Spangles.

    The Beano - Bash Streeet Kids, Billy Whizz...
    Golden Wonder sausage and ketchup flavour
    Aniseed balls and gummy teeth sweets, pineapple chunks, sherbert with the liquorice stick in the yellow cyclinder, ....
    Z Cars, Juliet Bravo, The generation game, Golden Shot, Mr Ben, Hector's House, Play School, Sooty, Blockbusters, Catweezle, Magpie & Blue Peter, Paddinton, Mama Papas (was that their name - the blob people that changed shape), Magic Roundabout, Rhubarb and Custard,
    Tiswas, Runaround, Crackerjack, Bagpuss, the Moomins, Fingerbobs,
    Wandering up the street and buying food from the grocers, the bakers, the butchers.....and putting it all in a shopping bag

  5. Have you read book called 'Where did all go right?' I've forgotten the author, but it is nostalgic look back at Seventies / Eighties childhood that went exceptionally normally. It was fun.

    Spangles - relaunched a few years ago by Woolworths, but sadly now gone for good.

    Can anyone remember Amazin Raisin bars? They were lush!

  6. Claire...these should give my age away.
    The Flying Doctor. The Whirly Birds. Paladin. The Lone Ranger & Tonto. Quatermass. Twizzle. Bill&Ben the flowerpot men. Jubilees(triangular frozen orange). Double Your Money (Take Your Pick?). The blue twist of salt in paper bag crisps. The Laughing Policeman. Dixon of Dock Green and the white dot (after telly is switched off). Just a few, but common to those born around 1952.

    ps Molly P...I see you as Minnie the Minx.
    Is the Victor, Dandy and Topper still around incidentally?

  7. Little 'Black Sambo' chews...I bet they aren't around now.

  8. I could get 4 Black Sambo's for Ha'penny. and a 'Jubbly' for fourpence. I could also get something for thre'ppence but can't quite remember what it was.

    Five Bob used to last me forever. In 1968 I could buy a pint for one and tuppence (7.5 pence) and I used to get into the cinema using bottle tops as money. Before that, it used to be jam-jars down at the Gourmond (can't remember how it was spelt).

    Ok, I'll stop because the doctor says I shouldn't get too excited at my age.

  9. Some overlap there Ken...I remember Bill and Ben, Dixon of Dock Green, white dot and blue twist of salt...I'm a 1964-er.

  10. "Where did it all go right?" is by Andrew Collins, it's a lovely read! He also did a sequel about his uni days in the 80s which was pretty funny too!

  11. I read both of Collin's book, very descriptive of the era. The only problem for me is I find his rather distinctive radio persona a bit annoying, and I kept hearing him when I was reading them...

    Recommended read: Black Swan Green by David Mitchell, now that is a good read based on the era.


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