Monday, June 9, 2008

Talismans and Nostalgia

Rover, 1907

Apres party this morning, I found myself in a happily reflective and nostagic mood.

And I began thinking of a time, when I was 9 or 10, and a friend of my father took me for a ride in his 1907 Rover. It was not over-restored and so still, to my mind, felt like something really of the past - brought into contact with now by some magical and unknowable process. The intensity of the experience was overwhelmingly strong.

And I remembered this feeling of 'being in the past in the present' not so long ago when saw some old photos of carriages in use.

I could so easily put myself there. Imagine the texture and smell of the leather seats. The oil on the harness to keep it supple. The dust of the road on the rubber rims of the wheels. The springiness of the horse-hair padding of the seats ... .

A sensation which, for me, is not really excited by over-restored vehicles out in the modern world ...

... but can be, as I found out a couple of years, by old carriages in museums. Which I discovered ago when I saw this unrestored beauty in an old house in Vigan, in Luzon (Philippines).

The bonus was seeing similar carriages in the streets - for hire ...

... and flagging one down ...

... and fully indulging this intoxicating past-present experience.

Happiness can be finding such talisman conduits for then and now!


  1. Nick, my man (yeah, yeah, yeah "insert" the "I wish!" hereabouts)

    Loved it, loved them, have had dreams of this and some ellusive experience. Stench-free and all! Baroque and all.

    So I'm sure you know about this, but I like to brag about national treasures (which my therapist tells me is very typical of males with a limited.. er.. amount of treasures to cherish). Anyway:



  2. hey peter, yeah i'm sure mine is not an uncommon experience! thanks for the link - i'll check it now! take care. nick

  3. Glad to see that partying amongst the accouterments of the Inquisition did not warp your psyche.

    Alan down in Florida

  4. hey alan. thanks - i have a pretty strong sense of myself - for better or worse! still a bit on the survival upward path - but feeling pretty good. nick