Nostalgia.
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02-02-2013, 08:27 AM
Nostalgia.
Well, you guys and gals know me by now (or some of you do) and you will probably have noticed that I'm not the most emotionful kinda ape creature.

I'm often asked what I miss about the UK and my stock answer ('cause I don't want to go down the path that would lead from saying "I miss my family") is to say I miss the seasons.

And I do, tbh, but not in a soppy way.

Having one warm / hot season all year has its upside but it's not great for stimulating thoughts / feelings / memories.
The introspection that comes with the seasonal changes (particularly Winter and Autumn (that's Fall, for the colony)) can be a powerful creative force - I'm speaking poetically, if you see what I mean.

So anyway, the nostalgia-thing doesn't happen very often but I felt like sharing this...

I just called my mum who is 78 today and of course I got the update on her recovery (remarkably good btw) but also got two other bits of info that gave me a few pangs:

1. This will only mean something to a very small subset of the populace... Brits... Guardian readers... crossword aficionados.

I mean it when I say that I think I learned more in the first half of life by doing the Guardian crossword than I did from attending school.
School, for me, was a confusion and I realise with hindsight that my social and learning difficulties were (are) most likely Autism-related.
But the crossword... well that had a purpose... it was a challenge... a battle of wit and wonder with the crossword setter.

Most of the crossword setters are high-level academics and in the process of meeting their challenge each day, I was (I realise now) learning in the same way that I still learn now. Now, I learn by following an internet trail; then, it was reference books.

I didn't learn about Greek and Roman mythology at school, I learned from the Oxford dons who forced me to read about Cassandra and Persephone in the hunt for a one word solution. I read DH Lawrence and Shakespeare and Keats, I learned about the Kings, I discovered legal terms, I found enlightenment... often in the failed attempts and blind alleys of the cryptic misdirections.

Fuck me! I got good a Scrabble!

Some of the crosswords were more enjoyable than others. I remember how I would smile inwardly when I opened the paper to discover that my favourite creator had set the puzzle and on a Saturday too so I could take all weekend cracking those clues.

My favourite was a guy with the 'avatar' of Araucaria. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Galbraith_Graham

(I honestly had no idea, until I went to the link I just added that he is a Church of England priest.)

A style of crossword is named after his moniker and here is an example of the genius of the man:

Quote: "His clues often include long anagrams, with his favourite appearing in a Christmas puzzle:
O hark the herald angels sing the boy’s descent which lifted up the world,
an anagram of "While shepherds watched their flocks by night, all seated on the ground"

I thought he was being ironic... maybe he was.

Today, on the phone, I learned that in a recent crossword that Araucaria, the crossword setter that so many other crossword setters cite as their inspiration, had announced to the world via the only vehicle appropriate (one of his crossword clues) that he has terminal cancer.

An era is ending.

2. 6 Nations Rugby.
The tournament starts today and I keep forgetting about it.

My dad, always with the priorities in the right place, was like "Yeah well, nice to chat but the match is about to start" after a 3 second conversation.

Wales vs Ireland today and have no way of seeing it.

Fuck it!

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02-02-2013, 08:43 AM
RE: Nostalgia.
Sorry to hear about that guy, I hope he goes peacefully.

And yeah, I'm totally going to talk about me for a while (cue eyeroll).

Not sure if this is the same, but when I was in Portugal for about 5 months, I read in the newspaper that a famous Brazilian soap opera actor had died. He played the villain in the very first Brazilian soap opera they showed in Bulgaria, when I was in the 1st grade. Everybody used to watch it and if I could, I'd go watch it with my grandma, because as kids, we weren't allowed to watch grown-up stuff. Anyway, my grandma, who'd never travelled much (if at all), but who was full of curiosity, loved it and would often talk about that guy and what a villain he was.

So, when I read he had died, it just took me back in time (and across the whole of Europe). Bitter-sweet feeling.

It's always the small things that make us miss people we've lost, places we've left or even who we used to be.

(BTW, if you love puzzles, you should check Rubicon out.)

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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02-02-2013, 08:54 AM
RE: Nostalgia.
(02-02-2013 08:43 AM)Vera Wrote:  Sorry to hear about that guy, I hope he goes peacefully.

And yeah, I'm totally going to talk about me for a while (cue eyeroll).

Not sure if this is the same, but when I was in Portugal for about 5 months, I read in the newspaper that a famous Brazilian soap opera actor had died. He played the villain in the very first Brazilian soap opera they showed in Bulgaria, when I was in the 1st grade. Everybody used to watch it and if I could, I'd go watch it with my grandma, because as kids, we weren't allowed to watch grown-up stuff. Anyway, my grandma, who'd never travelled much (if at all), but who was full of curiosity, loved it and would often talk about that guy and what a villain he was.

So, when I read he had died, it just took me back in time (and across the whole of Europe). Bitter-sweet feeling.

It's always the small things that make us miss people we've lost, places we've left or even who we used to be.

(BTW, if you love puzzles, you should check Rubicon out.)

Thanks.

Yes, I should have posed the question at the end of my outpouring, to everyone else to ask what has made them feel nostalgic. Cheers for adding.

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02-02-2013, 09:22 AM
RE: Nostalgia.
If I see a box of Cracker Jacks it takes me back to my time spent on my grandparent's farm in Iowa. Grandma had a cabinet in the corner of the kitchen that was always full of goodies...Heath bars, Hershey bars, orange jelly candies, circus peanuts, and boxes of Cracker Jacks in the three packs that were taped together with little bits of red tape. I remember how great I thought the prizes were.

Grandma and I would pack a picnic lunch with a sandwich, a little can of shoestring potatoes, some candy, and a box of Cracker Jacks and we would go for a walk around the farm. Sometimes we go to the timber and pick berries or hunt for mushrooms. She knew the names of every plant and bird that we came upon. We would often walk to one of the old limestone quarries on the property and sit on the top edge where we could look out across the fields and have our lunch.

That farm was the only place where I felt unconditional love. Grandma and Grandpa adored me and I them. Over the years I have occasionally picked up a box of Cracker Jacks only to be disappointed...they tasted so much better when sharing them with grandma and looking out over the farm to see a little speck in the distance that was grandpa on one of his tractors.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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02-02-2013, 09:26 AM
RE: Nostalgia.
I was talking to my wife about things I want to get from my childhood. A 3DO is one of them. I miss my 3DO and Star Control II and some of the games I used to enjoy. I suppose in some ways I'm emotional in that sense as well. Bring back fun memories of when i was a kid.

Scrabble is good times too. Me and my grandma used to play it a lot.
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02-02-2013, 09:55 AM
RE: Nostalgia.
nostalgia, closest I have to anything like you guys is remembering the broodwar community. They died out completely when I was 13, but we had some fun times.

When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity.

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02-02-2013, 03:26 PM
RE: Nostalgia.
My nostalgia:












I was genuinely sad when he passed away. I remember feeling like the world lost something that day. Watching his shows helped me discover creative process, something important in my world.

Happy quiet trees.
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02-02-2013, 03:51 PM
RE: Nostalgia.
(02-02-2013 03:26 PM)LadyJane Wrote:  My nostalgia:












I was genuinely sad when he passed away. I remember feeling like the world lost something that day. Watching his shows helped me discover creative process, something important in my world.

Happy quiet trees.
The man has a soul after all.

Glad to hear your Mum is doing well;makes me feel a bit younger. Wink
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02-02-2013, 08:44 PM (This post was last modified: 02-02-2013 08:51 PM by Dark Light.)
RE: Nostalgia.
I don't know if nostalgia is quite the appropriate term or not, but I can remember being deployed in Afghanistan...shit hole of a country. After many months of being gone I was on a mission that dictated I go to ISAF-HQ...where the highest ranking military officer of Afghanistan resides....very nice, you know, for Afghanistan. While there I was walking about and happened upon a park...they had a park! I was strolling along after dropping off some gear when I got close to the small park and I stopped dead in my tracks, marveled a moment and said aloud "That is a nice lawn." I immediately realized that I had never uttered those words strung together in my entire life. I then thought to myself "It's the funny things you miss. Who would have ever thought I would have opined a bit of grass." And it brought a smile to my face, and I was happy for a moment. For that fleeting moment I felt as if a piece of me was home.

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02-02-2013, 08:47 PM
RE: Nostalgia.
Well, nostalgia ain't what it used to be. Drinking Beverage

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