This time last year, I sat in a shady corner of my garden to escape the heat, and wrote about Jack and Gareth enjoying skidoo races and snowball fights in Northern Sweden. This year, when the summer seems even hotter and rain is something we barely recall, I’m sitting here imagining a mid-winter rescue, complete with hip-deep snow, crisp, pine-scented air, and frost so biting my eyes water just describing it. It’s all a long way from real life. So, am I a glutton for punishment or someone who can’t live in the moment and enjoy what’s there? Or is indulging in wishful thinking something that keeps my memory sharp and my imagination in working order?
I like to think it’s the latter, because wishful thinking is something I do a lot. I read history book and visit historical sites and I grew up learning about this king, or that important event. But when I let my mind play with what I’ve seen I imagine how people might have lived. What did they eat, wear, cheer for or cry over? What irritated them on a daily basis? Did they gripe about their leaders as we do? Did they have favourite entertainers, food fads, or fake news? It’s the people behind the history that interest me these days and the lives they might have led.
And it doesn’t have to go back eons. Not all the time, at least. We just spent a lovely, nostalgic weekend driving a car that was almost as old as we are. It was my husband’s dream car growing up, so what better way to spend an English summmer weekend pootling one around a part of England that was home to us for 16 years.
We rented our weekend conveyance, a 1972/73 3-litre V8 Triumph Stag, from the lovely folks at Vintage Classics in Melksham, and I can’t recommend them enough. They love what they do and it shows – and when it comes to making dreams come true, that attitude can make or break your day.
It definitely made our weekend. We got to sneak a peek at our favourite places, reminisce about the first time we saw or visited them, and make note of how much has changed since work took us to other parts of the country seven years ago. We got to imagine a time when the roads were filled – and I used that word loosely – with cars like the one we drove. We got to enjoy a more earthy style of driving like remembering to lock all car doors and the boot separately. Removing and refitting the roof needs teamwork and most other drivers on the road were looking down on us – literally – even though the Triumph Stag is a tourer not a sportscar.
The Triumph Stag got many cheerful grins, admiring glances, and a whole bunch for friendly waves from others on the road. Nostalgia, it seems, clearly isn’t dead yet. Just like visiting old castles, watching Downton Abbey, or seeking out vintage dresses or jewellery, we love to see old cars pottering along our modern roads. I think it adds a connection to what was, a continuity that anchors us when times seems to fly too fast.
For that alone, I find wishful thinking a very good thing. And as for Jack and Gareth racing skidoos on a frozen river, or Javier trudging through a blizzard hoping to escape his pursuers… I don’t know whether either dreamed of warmer climes. But right now, I certainly challenge anyone in Blighty not to dream of snow. Or a the very least a lovely, refreshing summer shower or two. 🙂