It’s like déjà vu – again.

 I long for nostalgia. Giving way to my rose coloured yearning, as well as my new found thespianism, I went back up to London this week to see the play Love, Love, Love which starts off in the 60s. As they say, if you can remember the 60s then… then something… what I mean to say is…. Frankly I find it difficult enough to remember where I put my support bra, without trying to stretch my mind back to a time when I was very young. Okay, not ‘very’ for all of it, but nonetheless of too tender years to be involved in all those goings-on (sigh).

However, I’m sure people even as young as 17 clearly remember the 60s, as there is an enormous amount of groovy nostalgia centering on a time when Fanny and Johnny were the pinnacle of a chic culinary experience, pineapple on sticks and snowballs were sophisticated, clothes were a nightmare of psychedelia. Yet, as fashion is the ultimate form of re-cycling, it’s not really so much if you can remember the 60s, as whether you can remember it from the last time round. The 60s was when PlayStation wrist or texters’ thumb didn’t exist. Although, it’s enough to make you walk like a duck for days, thinking about sexual liberation and which bits of anatomy might have suffered from repetitive strain.

As a damning indictment of the middle-class trap the main character finds himself in, he states that after all, ‘we do live in Reading.’ A risky statement, wild enough to have emanated from the 60s, certain to alienate an entire biggish town.  I am convinced that this bastion of middle-class respectability is, as I write, creating a lynch mob as their municipal greeting party should Paines Plough ever be foolish enough to transfer from the Royal Court to Reading. I have visions of the tweed suited lynch mob discussing tactics over sweet sherry, men and women stroking their moustaches in fury. Yet, I must be careful what I say as I don’t want them finding me here on the south coast. That’s the south coast of Switzerland, if any of the Readingites can find their glasses to read this (they are next to the aspidistra, dear.)

It is good to laugh though. As I sat in my well upholstered seat (that’s in, not on, Junoesque though I may be) guffawing along with everyone, I could feel my serotonin levels surging upwards. Or perhaps that was my half-time glass of wine. Could’ve been either.  So for any non-play goers out there, I strongly encourage you to go.  It’s fun, satisfying and not too short; useful criteria in any virgin experience.

I do believe that laughter is not only the best medicine but possibly should be the only medicine. If people had to get involved in fun stuff, everyone would be much lighter, fitter and with lower blood pressure. Thus much less inclined to strokes and heart attacks, both of which can incline you to the horizontal. Permanently.

Sorted. We need laughter prescribed on the NHS, to be taken at least 30 times a day, sometimes with food. So I’ll be setting up my ‘Platforms and Flares’ study in Reading shortly.  Dig out your striped jeans and sign up; it’ll be wild, man; like totally.


About alisongardiner1

Writer of YA series of books. Broadcaster/podcaster Litopia After Dark.
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