Hobbies and passed times

As the old - and somewhat lame joke - goes, nostalgia's a thing of the past. It's never really been something that has stirred my passions, truth be told. All those radio stations playing 'golden oldies' give me the shivers, quite frankly - Kenny Loggins, anyone?

There's a Spanish radio station, which is catnip to taxi drivers, that's actually called Nostalgia. No, really, that's its name. Well, at least you can't fault their honesty as they pour out overwrought sixties ballads by the bucketload and passengers insist on being dropped off a mile before their destination.

Likewise, those 80s theme nights in pubs and bars are to be avoided at all costs - I lived through that godforsaken decade in real life and it was, let me tell you youngsters, a total nightmare. Or maybe it was just me who couldn't stand The Smiths, 'alternative' (shouty) comedy, horrible men's jumpers and football violence.

Imagine my shock, then, as over the last few weeks, I've succumbed to the odd nostalgic musing. Don't worry, I didn't dig out any Thompson Twins albums, principally because like any sane person, I've never owned any, but I did find myself looking up old addresses where I'd lived and thinking about family history and stuff like that.

To put this in context, I'm somebody who possesses very few photographs (maybe twenty in total) and who - if the conversation turns to all our yesterdays - scarpers for the nearest exit at a high rate of knots. The present is usually quite enough to be going on with, thank you, and any spare head space can be most profitably used thinking about future plans. That, at least, has always been my philosophy hitherto. Things have, however, changed.

All this uncertainty and instability has caused us all to stop and contemplate the deeper things and, given that there's nothing much happening in the present and it's nigh on impossible to make future plans, what else can we do but find solace in the warm fuzz of nostalgia? And it is a warm fuzz, make no mistake - a comfortable old blanket of safety and rose-tinted happiness. The more I've delved into its welcoming embrace, the more I've enjoyed the experience.

So, it rather looks like I've been quite mistaken all these years; nostalgia can be a good thing if it's not over done - food for the soul in disconcerting times.

I still draw the line at Kenny Loggins, though.