Nostalgia – why is it important?

Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be is an old joke but it does raise the issue about why we need nostalgia and how vintage items can play an important part.

When I go and do talks to ladies groups about my vintage collections (particularly kitchenalia and royal commemorative items) the one phrase which is guaranteed to be said a hundred times is “My mam had one of those.”

Vintage items not only remind us of our younger days but they often bring up very emotive memories as we associate them with happy memories – particularly of our families

Items used in the kitchen such as mincers, rolling pins, scone cutters and so on bring back memories of when mothers (or fathers) used to cook and bake. The recent revival of interest in home baking is surely partly down to these kinds of memories?

Toys in particular arouse huge memories for adults – their first doll or toy car, their first train set or dolls house and their first collection of whatever they started as a child.

One of the great things about being an adult is that most of us can afford to buy the toys we loved or the ones we or our parents couldn’t afford when we were children!

My collection of dolls houses and furniture and my Sasha dolls collection is not quite an obsession but it got close – now letting go one piece at a time.

We can also get emotional about favourite books we were read as a child – I sought out a copy of an obscure French (translated into English) children’s book The Lost and Found Ball because it was the very first book I borrowed as a child of about five from my local library.

So is nostalgia a good thing or not? It all depends on the place it has in your life and when it takes over your life it can be not so healthy but keep it in perspective and I say long live nostalgia!

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