Remona AlyThursday 06 July 2023 Pause for Thought, BBC Radio 2
Nostalgia, mini cassettes & a JVC
The other day, I managed to prise a digital tablet from the hands of my nine year old twin nieces while telling them that back in the late eighties and early nineties, the real meaning of being ‘left to our own devices’ meant their dad, aunties and uncles – aka my siblings and cousins – would create home video masterpieces via the magic of a JVC camera.
That wondrous piece of tech along with its precious mini cassettes is the archive of our youth.
It has captured me as Anneka Rice in our version of Challenge Anneka as I rushed around looking for clues in the kitchen and living room. Other tapes present the ‘M Squad’ – we’re still uncertain what the ‘M’ stands for, Maniac perhaps, which featured chaotic renditions of T’Pau’s ‘Monkey House’ and Talking Head’s ‘Road to Nowhere’ complete with hairbrush mics and tennis racket guitars, with the next scene cutting to a 9 o clock news flash, live from our sofa.
Revisiting these antics, I sensed a gentle tug as my heartstrings played back distant memories of the good old days.
It sometimes feels as if the sun has set on nostalgia. Like the days of innocence and summer sweetness were usurped with bitter times that came to take their place.
That carefree young girl singing T’Pau wasn’t to know that Grief, with head bowed low, was silently waiting for her. She wasn’t to know that growing up would shake the ground beneath her feet.
Yet I want to pay tribute to how I climbed out of each difficulty to arrive at who I am now. And to recognise how loss can crack you open to see the delicate beauty of life you may never have noticed before.
I reckon that while rosier times might be long gone, the difficult ones can honour who we are too, for today is also a memory in the making.
The 12th century Persian Muslim polymath, Omar Khayyam, said, “Dead yesterdays and unborn tomorrows, why fret about it, if today be sweet.”
No matter how much I pine for the past, or worry about my future, I’ll remind myself that the right now, can hold the promise of yesterday’s nostalgia.
Although, there’s nothing to stop me and my sibs breaking out the tennis rackets just one more time.