Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Nostalgia

Yesterday your Drummer took a trip back into his own recent past. As a conservative I'm often accused of looking back to a "mythical golden age" (as if it is completely impossible to conceive of life as ever better than it is now - but that's beside the point - just like whenever we say something isn't right we're stirring "moral panics"); but I do have the all-too human trait of going through a rough patch and then looking back on it as though it were quite comfortable actually. Call what I did last night "ostalgia" and you might be nearer the mark - living in the east (Reading), with its appalling prices, clogged up roads, London commuters, Heathrow jets coming overhead every 30 seconds, and culture of work: I didn't enjoy it much but going back last night I managed to forget all that and focus on the good times, the couple of times a year successes: now why couldn't I do that while I was still there?

In fact it was a strange experience, going there, much stranger than being there. Retracing a journey I made 400+ times was a curious blend of emotion and thought, with anxiety thrown in as well - as though I really were driving to work with something difficult to do, whereas I was just popping back for a meeting. Funny how the psychic defence mechanisms kicked in. I had to stop and think: "You are not employed there anymore. You don't have to go if you don't want to" before I could carry on. In the event, so little having happened since, I slipped back into the old relationships with bosses and parents rather quickly - but then I left quickly too, before that could grow uncomfortable.

4 comments:

CityUnslicker said...

Going back to old places places of work is always strange. As is going back to your old school.

I try to avoid both; but your post is a good wrtie up of the emotions experienced.

james higham said...

It's never really the same when you go back. It's like being a torist on your own patch. did you find things had changed greatly?

The Tin Drummer said...

Thanks chaps for both comments: CU - being an old romantic I cannot resist going back to these places, I find that strange feeling really curious and would like to put it into words but find it tricky.

James- no, it hadn't changed, which makes the strange feeling even more seductive.

Ellee Seymour said...

I find I'm always pleased to be returning home after my visit to London too. Though my home town is Wisbech, I find I have no desire to stay there either.