Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be!

The sirens of past lives take some silencing.

Going to relate to you a true story.

In 1968 I emigrated to Australia; to the city of Sydney.  It was an easy move in many ways.  For before I left I was working in the sales office of British Visqueen Ltd in Stevenage in Hertfordshire. ‘BVL’ were part of Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI).

On Day Three of my new life in Sydney I noticed that ICIANZ (Australia & New Zealand) had their headquarters building on Macquarie Street near North Circular Quay.  On impulse I went in and two hours later had been offered a job in the sales office of ICI’s Inorganic Chemicals Division.

From the window of my office I had a stupendous view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This is a picture taken the other side of the Bridge looking back at the office complex to the right of the Sydney Opera House; the office block partially obscured by the top curve of the bridge.


Anyway, back to the story.

I was dating a Finnish woman who with her sister and parents had emigrated from Finland some years previously.  That woman’s name was Britta and later we were married and then upon returning to England in 1970 we had two children; a son and a daughter. In Australia I didn’t miss England and when back in England I didn’t miss Australia.

I was 26 when we returned to England.

Fast forward forty-four years to now.

This is the view through our bedroom window in the morning when Jean and I awake.


This is another view of the same scene but taken from outside the windows.


When the air is really moist and there are clouds hanging low over the ridge, it’s common to see mist swirling through the trees.

Morning mist

It is a beautiful place to live, for us and for all our animals …. yet …. we don’t feel perfectly settled.

Back to Britta’s parents.  After they had been living in Australia for quite a few years, in Brisbane in those days, and all settled with jobs and their own house, they still didn’t feel perfectly settled.  So they gave up their jobs, sold the house and transported themselves and their belongings all the way back to Helsinki, Finland.

Only to find that in less than three months that they had made a ghastly mistake and so, yes you know what’s coming, they transported themselves and all their belongings all the way back to Australia; this time settling in Sydney.

OK, to the point of this tale.

In many, many ways this life that Jean and I have here in Oregon is better than anything we have previously experienced.

Yet, there are times when I hear the sirens of Devon calling out to me and for Jean there are times when she hears the sirens of Mexico calling out to her; Jean lived in San Carlos, Mexico for twenty-five years, off and on, with her late American husband, Ben, who died in 2005.

I’m 70 in November this year.

What does it all mean?

When Jean and I were living in Payson, Arizona we were talking one day to a woman who in previous times had been a personal counsellor.  She asked how we were settling in.  We mentioned that we were not yet settled.  The woman went on to say that people over the age of 60 frequently had a much more difficult time adjusting to major moves and changes in their lives than younger persons.

Jean and I wouldn’t rewind our lives for all the tea in China but what, dear reader, do you think?

Anyone out there the ‘wrong’ side of 60 who can relate to this?


6 thoughts on “Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be!

  1. I guess part of it is that as we see and experience more we get steadily more demanding about what we expect in future, simply because we have more to judge new places against than we did when younger.

    But that doesn’t explain why we up sticks and move to somewhere new that we think will be a big improvement but isn’t. Maybe that is to do with being pressured into an unwise change by a growing awareness of time passing, and a feeling that there is much more to see and do and not much time to do it?


    1. Trifocal,

      Thanks for your comment and welcome to this place. Just been across to your own blogsite and liked what I saw.

      In general I would agree with you. However us moving to Oregon from Arizona was pure chance as I have written about previously.


  2. I don’t think it is as much to do with age as it does personality. I am far from 60, but I don’t like major upheavals of any kind. I do not adapt quickly to change, never have.

    Can you travel easily? Maybe you just need to go visiting places and get a sense outside of your current location? Also, it could mean that you might be in the right location, but you aren’t doing enough with it.


    1. Thanks for your thoughts. H’mm, can we travel easily? Fancy a free holiday in this beautiful part of Oregon? In exchange for housesitting 9 dogs, 5 cats, 2 budgerigars, 3 chickens and 4 horses! Deal of the century! 😉


  3. Born and raised in the big city, but had the great privilege to spend half the year at the family home on an island in the middle of nowhere. In other words I could go from barefoot native to city sophisticate in the time of a day’s car ride.

    Now I live in the middle of nowhere and that passion for the forest, the animals, the birds… Well, it never goes away. There are times when I ache for the excitement, the busy-ness, the twenty-four-hourish-ness of the big city. I imagine us moving back, but then I wake up and realise I would probably ache for the solitude, the clean air, the quiet of our nowhere home.

    Then I really wake up and wish a smart person would invent a machine that would allow us to be in two places at once.

    While I wait for that to happen, I think I’ll go watch the snow melt. LOL


    1. Wendy, you capture the essence of what Jean and I know in our hearts. That is within a week of being back at one of our previous homes we, too, would be aching for a return. As my first wife’s parents demonstrated in spades!


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