Saturday, 18 February 2017

nostalgia

nostalgia // noun // a sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past.



I love nostalgia. It's weird and beautiful and melancholy and perceptive and heart-warming. It's wistful and sentimental. It's happy and sad. I love that you can't have nostalgia for bad memories - and I love that nostalgia isn't really about memories, it's more about past aspects - like a particular smell, or a smile, or a book, or a room. I love that nostalgia can dawn suddenly, unexpectedly, and make you think, pause; remember, reminisce about the good days past. I love that it reminds us that life has been good and that life is good - because one day we'll be filled with nostalgia for now.

I love nostalgia. It's a nice word too; it sounds nice and it has a twist to it - it's a clever word. It's a word that every individual interprets differently - a word so personal and intimate that no-one can describe quite what nostalgia feels for themselves.



Cows in pastures makes me nostalgic; mainly because we used to live across the road to fields with cows (also chickens; although not in the same field) and I walked there plenty of times. Also, every year we'd go to this farm in Switzerland and yep, you guessed it, cows with bells around their necks - chewing their hearts out on the dewy morning grass - were always part of our stay there.



Newborn babies make me nostalgic. Their crazy small fingers; toenails; ears... their innocence, their pure perfection; their delicate, gorgeous, gorgeous beauty. I love their eyes - looking at things without knowing things, looking at faces and trusting people without knowing a thing. I love their little noses and their kissable feet and wrinkly fingers and ugh goshdarnit they're so terribly adorable. Even if they're ugly and wrinkled, they have tear-drop-worthy gorgeousness about their beings. You get it if you stare at one long enough.

A friend from Church recently had a little boy and I got to hold him (yeahhh for like, five minutes) and his black eyes peering at me from his teensy face just UGH IT'S LIKE MAGIC I TELL YOU.

I guess newborns make me nostalgic because I've so many memories of newborn siblings - going to the hospital and fighting for a turn to hold said new sibling. So many memories of sorting out baby clothes and smelling baby shampoo (best . smell . ever . Can I have an amen?) and feeling those small fingers cling around one of mine. Holding a new sibling always sort of felt like holding part of me... part of my blood; in my young arms - a freakin' human being with a life ahead. Blank pages to fill.



Ladybird books make me nostalgic. (For anyone who doesn't know, Ladybird books aren't books about insects... they're about all sorts of things. They were made in Britain, I believe, to learn kids how to read.) Whenever I was ill, I would take all of them (and we have a lot of ladybird books) and I would read them all in my bed. I loved reading about Peter and Jane and the dolls and the horses and the cookies and the beach and Punch and Judy and just yes I loved it. I personally think the stories are stupid now, but yeah speak about nostalgia.

The Cinderella Ladybird book pictured above makes me so so nostalgic because I have such a vivid memory of discovering it between some boring French grammar books at Grandma and Granddad's house and yes lil' seven-year-old me was like ahhhh this book is the best book ever. I put it back there and every time we revisited, I would go back and reread it. I still kinda want Cinderella's dresses. Obviously mainly the pink one on the cover.



Banana shaped moons make me nostalgic. Now I love full moons; glorious and cunning and smart in the dark sky - but spiky banana moons remind me of when I was little and I would freak out and point at it because IT'S SO EXCITING. LOOK MAMA THERE'S THE MOOOON.



Astrid Lingdren's stories make me nostalgic. I used to be such an Astrid Lingdren fan. I had no idea she was a Swedish author; for me she was the author of 'Madieke en Liesbet' and I thought she lived in Belgium and I felt like she wrote them right to me. 

I luuurved reading about Madieke (I think; Margaret in English? Not sure. I read 'em in Dutch and it doesn't feel right in any other language, haha) and her adventures in her red house with her sister Liesbet. I wanted to throw meatballs from the roof and have an Easter chocolate man and all that. I wanted to be like Lisa in 'The Children of Noisy Village' (the English title sounds so wrong; but I shall use it for my dear readers. Appreciate all I do.) and have an attic room and collect pictures and own a lamb. And have the perfectest life. :-)

Basically, I wanted to live in an Astrid Lingdren book. And the gorgeous, full-colour picture books that I found in the library (see picture above) didn't really help. (Seriously when I found that picture on Pinterest a whole GUST (no, WIND) of nostalgia swept over me.) (#personalfeels)



Seagulls make me nostalgic because I remember being so excited to see them on what-felt-like-the-longest-journey-ever to England. Seeing seagulls meant we were in Calais which meant we were going to board on the ferry, which meant we were going to see the White Cliffs of Dover (ugh yes the White Cliffs of Dover give me such nostalgia... please; don't get me started!), which meant we were going to be in England. I love seagulls. Also the sound of them... nothing screams more beach and coast. It's a beautiful sound.


Library cards make me so nostalgic. The stamps marking the history of the travels of a book, the library ladies stamping new stamps on the card (I always wanted to do it because it sounded like so much fun to do)... I miss the library card days, guys. 

So. Many. Library memories. I'm so glad that libraries hadn't yet 'fully developed' into computer-generated libraries in my childhood. I'm so glad I associate stamps and library cards with books. I'm so glad that when I visit a library now I still expect the crunch of the stamp to interrupt the bookish silence in the air. I'm sad that it doesn't. I don't care about the efficiency of computer-technology-look-it-up libraries; I WISH LIBRARY CARDS WERE STILL A THING.

I miss the tiny library that lived near the local church before it disappeared and joined the big, modern one. Just thinking about that adorable library makes me nostalgic because it was literally the cutest place in the world and I always wanted to go there when Mama went. I would come home with BAGS of books (frequently the same ones over and over) and it was the bomb. (*whisper* I know you have no idea what I'm talking about but please, allow me to have my trip down memory lane.)


Pettson and Findus books make me nostalgic. I got these from frequent library visits (and haven't read one in aaages) and my word, so much nostalgia. They're basically books about this old man and his cat (the cat is the coolest kid ever) and the pictures are just gold - filled with adorable detail; little weird creatures peeping from rugs and corners, little bits and bobs... I poured myself into these books. I want to reread them all so badly right now. (If I have kids, these are on my to-buy-for-their-birthdays list; for sure.)


Tapes make me nostalgic. REMEMBER THESE??? When you could put them in CARS? (Sheesh, I'm only eighteen. I should not be feeling this old.) My favourite childhood tape was one my dad made of my older brother singing Nursery Rhymes and Christmas songs. Oh, and there was one tape of annoying Nursery Rhyme songs that my sister Hannah and my brother Daniel ALWAYS listened to - I was so sick of it I hid it in the garden with my older brother. (Still good memories.)

The Martine/Tiny books give me nostalgia. I'm sorry to - once again - talk about books none of you probably know about, but the Tiny (not a word meaning small; it's a name. Don't laugh. Her name is Tiny. It's from the name Martine.) books basically are my childhood. They're MINE. None of my sisters like them much and I can't see why because I when I look back at my childhood I see Tiny books Tiny books Tiny books

We still have almost all of them - all 50-something. Tiny was this girl with the perfect life and the pictures are perfect and it's so unrealistic and I LOVED THEM SO MUCH... *goes downstairs to reread them all*


Film rolls make me nostalgic. The old camera has now long been buried and been replaced by a sporty grey lil' pocket-sized thing, and I miss the film roll days, readers. I always wanted to have it after the pictures had been developed... I always had a fascination for it, I guess. I mean, how on earth was my face on this brown see-through object?


There you go... some stuff that makes me wistful and sentimental and nostalgic. 

For some reason, so does a frying pan filled with eggs, but I have no idea why. So do the Little House on the Prairie books of course - I didn't dare even mention those because you'd all be like: "UGHH I KNOW SHHH DON'T SAY IT AGAIN." :-P 

Now, if you read all of this, consider yourself my friend. (I realise it might have been boring for some people. That's okay. Nostalgia is different for different people; I told you in the early realms of this post, if you've been paying any attention.) Does any of the things I listed make you nostalgic? If so, consider yourself my friend as well. Tell me about all the personal feels in the comment section; I'm all ears.

36 comments:

  1. Loved this! I'm in awe of your writing skills - particularly those opening paragraphs :). Definitely relate to being nostalgic about newborn babies ;)

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  2. Library cards! Film rolls! Oooh, and baby shampoo, my favorite! How did you know? :)

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  3. Newborn babies make me go alllllllllllllllllllllllllllll nostalgic and wisful and I-don't-know-what. My youngest sibling is 7 now, and I MISS THE LITTLE BABIES DARN IT. Baby shampoo smells beautiful. So does soy formula (which is actually something I used to drink when *I* was a baby/toddler, so we're talking WAY back now). Soy formula has this sort of warm, comforting scent/taste--I've kind of mixed the smell and taste up in my mind, honestly. It tastes like a baby blanket. Does that make sense? No, it does not. But that's all right ;-)

    Cold pancakes also make me nostalgic. So does pumpkin pie (two of my favorite foods from when I was a wee'un.)

    LIBRARY CARDS YASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Golly, I miss my adorable, little, old library in Bolton, Connecticut SO. DARN. MUCH. It was paradise on earth, I tell you. (Did you know it had a papier-mache whale hanging from the ceiling? Bet you didn't.)

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    1. I know!!!!!! My own littlest brother is sooooooo big! I can remember when he was just a bitsy-baby and now he's a big boy, waaaaah! I'm kinda bitter about being the oldest now, 'cause it means I don't get to have any darling nieces and nephews for ages. I won't get to cuddle anymore family babies until I'm OLD or have my own batch. (I wouldn't mind having kids, but I won't have a chance at nieces and nephews for AGES. AGES I tell you. It really isn't fair. I wanna be an auntie!)

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    2. I knowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww . . . it's so not fair. Let us weep together.

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    3. :'( :'( WAHHHHH!!! :'( :'(

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  4. The nostalgic things we have in common are: The moon, library cards, and seagulls. You also have a picture of watermelon on here, but I don't know if that gives you nostalgia.

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  5. THAT CINDERELLA LADYBIRD BOOK WAS MY LITTLE GIRL CHILDHOOD.

    Not even kidding. I read that so many times and adored it and adored all the dresses and it was so, so wonderful (in my mind back then). Even though I'm not hugely into clothes and fashion and all that, I can still remember adoring all her dresses (well, except the white one she wears to the third ball - I didn't like the gold bits on it or...the sleeves? I think). Even the grey one she wears for every day. (And especially the purple one at the end.)

    Thanks for that trip down memory lane. :) I'd love to write a post like this, but I can usually never remember all the different things that make me nostalgic until I experience them again. :P

    ~Eva

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  6. Also, my family/grandparents had a pretty large collection of other Ladybird books, if I remember correctly, and I really enjoyed reading them. (Most of them were about historical things, though, and not stories. There was one about Rumplestiltskin that was creepy, though.)

    ~Eva

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  7. I don't comment here often, but I just had to say that I love the Astrid Lindgren and Martine books; they are some of my childhood favorites too! I read them in Polish, and you're right, they don't sound right in English. :) I was so glad that you mentioned them, because almost no one in America knows about them!

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  8. I love this! I can really relate to feeling nostalgic about these different things :-)

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  9. Loved this!!! Such a lovely post!!

    Newborn babies make me happy, their so beautiful, little, fragile, their tiny feet and fingers and their eyes. I LOVE baby's and I hope that I will work with them, in the future.

    Ah, library cards. I actually never have seen one. Weird, isn't it?

    Film rolls. Whe have film rolls in the days when we where little. It's lovely.

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  10. Yes! Everything about this, yes! When I read the part out The Children of Noisy Village especially though, just YES! That book WAS my childhood. I can't speak multiple languages, so I had to read the English version :'(. (Have you ever seen the movie? It's adorable, but now I can't find it anywhere.) Seriously, that book WAS my childhood. When I was nine I put together my own "room" in our unfinished basement because I just loved the bit where Lisa was fixing up her own room. That book is full of everything a little child loves.

    Something that makes me really nostalgic is the I-Spy books. I love those books so much. They're so whimsical and adorable and perfect. I spent hours with them when I was a hobbit, we always left the library (yes, I miss the libraries of my childhood very much too) with one or two of them. Pip, my littlest brother is still carrying on the tradition.

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  11. Oh, this post! YES! What gives me nostalgia is certain stores. It's weird but when I go in shops or stores that I haven't been in since I was little it always makes me sad a little. Oh, to be 12 again (except without the awkward phase part)

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  12. Ugh, I think I'm nostalgic for your childhood now! All those books and babies and tapes and film... they were all so much part of my life too, even if in a more general sense. There are so many books I want my future children to have, I'll definitely need to reserve a room of the house to be a library! :) (And yes, Little House on the Prairie books deserve to be mentioned over and over again, because they are THAT good.)

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    1. Aw, glad you liked it!
      Little House on the Praire ARE that good. Agreed.

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  13. Wonderful post!!!!!!
    I have every detail memorized from Richard Scarry books. My fave is l Am A Bunny. Little Golden books, like Scuffy the Tugboat are so nostalgic. Did you have them where you live?
    Beatrix Potter books and the Little House series are timeless. I loved that I'm not the only one to get sooo excited about childhood books!
    My favorite childhood memory is smelling eggs that my Nana was cooking when I woke up at her house in the morning.
    Whenever I smell a box of salt water taffy I think of childhood trips to the beach, and I get excited over seagulls, too!
    Norman Rockwell pictures have strong nostalgia for me. Probably because my Mom bought me a shirt with one of his pictures on the front when I was little.
    It's funny what sparks our memories and it's amazing that we have
    all that info stored in our brains, isn't it?
    (By the way, those Pettson and Findus books sound adorable. Wish I had read them, too.)

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    1. Oh yes, I remember Richard Scarry. I was never obsessed with them, but yeah, I liked them.
      Beatrix Potter and Little House and everything yes yes. :-)

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  14. Uggghhhhh!!! Not only did you capture that nostalgic feeling PERFECTLY, but I'm just beyond jealous of how well-traveled you seem to be??? Like, you've been to England and Belgium and understand Swedish??? ALL THE JEALOUS.

    Also did I mention this whole post was just gorgeous???

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    1. No, I don't understand a WORD of Swedish! I read the Astrid Lindgren books in Dutch - they're originally Swedish. I live in Belgium and was bought up bilingually - my dad is from England and my mum is Belgian. So I'm not that well-travelled! :-P

      Thanks, Kayla!

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    2. Ah! Makes so much more sense now! :) Thanks for clearing that up for me, Naomi. :) I'm still jealous, though... Being American is SO boring. I would love to be European and live in Europe and travel sometimes!!!

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  15. I adore this post, it made me feel so nostalgic :-)

    Some things which make me feel nostalgic; Disney films, 'Jip en Janneke' illustrations, old photographs, baby clothes and children giggles :-)

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    1. Jip and Janneke!!! I grew up with them too!

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  16. This post was literally the best thing ever!!! I get very nostalgic looking a old pictures, reading childhood books, seeing my old clothes. Just a lot of things from my childhood make me wish I was a child again.

    Great post Naomi!!!

    -Lia
    catholicgirlstuff.blogspot.com

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    1. I know - seeing old clothes makes me nostalgic too!

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  17. I LOVE NOSTALGIA!! And this post is just plain SWEET!! <3

    My grandparents used to live next to a dairy, so while cows don't necessarily make me feel nostalgic, the smell of cows does! When I get that old farm scent it sends me right back to all those wonderful times we used to spend at their home.

    And NEW BORN BAAABIES!! YES, YES, YES!! I love your description of them. "...looking at things without knowing things, looking at faces and trusting people without knowing a thing." Awwww. Everybody needs a baby in their life!

    Childhood books with beautiful, memorable illustrations are the best!! The Tiny books look soooo adorable. And the Pettson and Findus books, too. I've never heard of any of these but looking at the pictures I can totally understand why they would be such a fond memory for you.

    Okay, seriously. Things change too fast. Cassette tapes gone. Library cards and stamps (not to mention the old filing system which I never got to fully appreciate) gone. Even VHS tapes are now becoming obsolete, and they weren't even around THAT long before the DVD came into play. Some of the new stuff is very convenient, but I do wish we did a better job of keeping some of the old things and not phasing everything out just because something new comes along. Because there's good things about both of them. And oh! I want a cute little library with no computers!! That would be so cool!!

    Lovely post as always, Naomi! :D

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    1. But the smell of cows is horrible... It smells! :-P (My sister thinks it smells good but I don't. :-)) However, I can definitely see why it would make you nostalgic.

      Yes, some children's books are just the best.

      I KNOOOOW EVERYTHING'S CHANGING. I love old things and I want a computer-less library... *sulks*

      Thanks, Miss March!

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  18. YOU ALWAYS WANTED THE FILM ROLL, TOO?? I think my brother and I would fight over it. Maybe. I can't remember. We wanted the film canister, too. :P But yeeees, I miss film and studying that tiny brown strip and holding it up to the light....
    This was such a beautiful post, Naomi. :)

    Now I really want to do a "nolstagic post" too....

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    1. Natalie! I'd sort of forgotten about it until I read your comment, but we always liked to keep the film canisters, too. So many fun memories. :)

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    2. Ohhh yes, we always fought for the film canisters too!!!

      Yes, Natalie, please do a post like this. :-) I'd love to read it.

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    3. Miss March and Naomi, You and your siblings as well?? Haha! That's so funny. :D

      Naomi, Aww, thanks!

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  19. PS. Apparently I can't spell *nostalgic. :P

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  20. We still have library cards! And did I tell you about the tapes I made for my truck?

    You have a way with words, and a way with memories. This reads warm and fuzzy. :-)

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  21. Mmmm, nostalgia.

    Yes!!! Newborn babies are the absolute sweetest best thing ever. And amen to baby shampoo! For real!

    I love Astrid Lingdren's books. I've read most if not all of the "Pippi" books and a couple of her "Emil" books...I'm afraid I don't recognize the ones you menitoned though.

    We have a teeny tiny historic library in our town that is still in operation, and we would check out books there (before we read all the ones that weren't trashy romances, haha), and they had the little cards in the back, where we had to sign and the librarian stamped the date. Most of the books we checked out hadn't been checked out for about 40 years!! That library is a fun experience in itself.

    I love this post, Naomi!!!

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  22. Aww, I was waiting for you to give us a good story as to why watermelon makes you nostalgic. :P (After seeing the first picture.) I love watermelon. It's probably a fruit I see the most of in Australia.

    Also, I was deeply impressed with your first few paragraphs. It's very true. And truth is beautiful.

    Ohh, I know Ladybird books!! We have them too!! :D

    And that picture from an Astrid Lingdren book is ssooo pretty. <3

    HAHAHA YOU HID THE TAPE IN THE GARDEN. That is SUCH a good idea, haha! XD We still have tapes, actually! Quite a lot of them, and we have tape players, so we listen to them. In fact, I'm pretty sure our car plays tapes. And I know aalll about being sick of some tapes.

    AWw, the Tiny books picture is so cute!

    Oh look - eggs! You find eggs in a frying pan nostalgic? Well, I GUESS I can imagine it being nostalgic...

    Let's see - yes, babies, the moon and seagulls all make me nostalgic. I can't think of too many right now, but these two DEFINITELY make me nostalgic:

    The sound and smell of Daddy mowing outside. WOOOOW. Every. Time. He did it this morning. I aaalways have to stop and think about all the times I remember seeing Daddy mow.

    Two, a sky full of stars. It always makes me stop and think.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane. :)

    ~Miss Meg

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