Saturday, 6 February 2010

Why looking back is where it's at

So now I see why those bloggers I follow only manage to get something on their blogs once every few months. Turns out it's not just laziness...composing your thoughts takes effort! This is the first day I've felt coherent in a couple of weeks, so I suppose it doesn't matter that it's taken this long. It helps to have exams out of the way, to have the flat (relatively) clean, not to mention being rid of the fugitive from the law that I've been harbouring here for a week. Pleasant as her company has been, it's nice to have my own space back again.

The last couple of weekends have seen me at a pie festival in St Albans (yep, a figure like this takes work, believe it or not) and sampling sushi in Bristol, and I am now the proud owner of a heated mattress cover that makes getting out of bed in the mornings all that much harder. I have also tried to revitalise my poker game somewhat, which was proving very successful till a major dose of tilt yesterday evening undid a week's good work in an hour. Lessons, as they say, are indeed extra in this cruel game.

Cinema too has been inherently unreliable - I have finally seen two films (Daybreakers, 500 Days of Summer) that I have been trying to see for ages, only to find them both mediocre and disappointing. Paradoxically, I went to see Sherlock Holmes with a heavy heart, expecting a staple from literary history to be dragged through the mire of Hollywood saccharine, and was amazed to find myself enjoying it immensely. Robert Downey Jr portrays a younger Holmes than TV might have previously done, but perfectly balances his burgeoning genius with a strong sense of whimsical melancholy. I look forward to seeing Holmes' arch enemy, Moriarty, in the inevitable sequel.

Poring over the BBC magazine for intersting articles this week, I came upon a major piece about nostalgia. I am not a fan of Take That and was never gifted with a Rubik's Cube, but I was always keen on Angel Delight, and would love to see it still available on our shelves. Scientists have proven that nostalgia can be a very healthy feeling that evokes youthful exuberance and provides us with a sense of belonging. This will probably not be news to you any more than it was to me, but I was amazed to find out that for years, scientists have viewed nostalgia as a bad thing.

Nostalgia, taken from the Greek 'nostos' (return) and 'algos' (pain), has been a concern for the psychological establishment for several years, with a 2006 report from Psychology Today magazine suggesting that 'overdoing' reminiscence leads to a failure to derive joy in the present. But then, were things in the past ever all that good? Now, in these days of economic recession and terrorist threat, are they really all that bad?

The Standard Life report that brings about the article suggests that you can complete a 'Nostalgia Workout', focusing on the positive memories that you have, listing them in your mind and expanding the images as a reminder of how life was at that time. Call me cynical, but this seems a little too much like effort to me. Instead, I'm going to enjoy a Wispa bar in front of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The original, of course.

No comments:

Post a Comment