When I was compiling the content of my last post I became quite nostalgic.But nostalgic for what? Long hair and spots? Flared denim and broken-down cars on twitches? Crap optics and hard-to-get birding information? The more I thought about it other things started to take on a gild of gold - three-day weeks, power-cuts, flair footballers, terrace violence, punk rock... not all of these things are good things, I needn't point out, but THEY WERE OF MY TIME. And there is the truth. I entered the 1970s just turned eleven years old and left them as an (almost) independent adult. These were my fomative years, when life was meant (and did) take me by the scruff of the neck and show me the good, the bad and the ugly that it had to offer. Birding got caught up in all that and so became as much a defining influence as my first experience of everything else that came along. I cannot extract my birdwatching experiences from the music, sport, politics and socialising at that time because they were all part of the same thing. It was all intertwined. Back then I would listen to the 'old-time' birders (probably no older than 30 or 40!) waxing lyrical about the Hartlepool Dusky Thrush or the Durlston Brown Thrasher and whose cultural touchstones were 'swinging sixties' cliches. And those birders that grew up in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s all have their own 'defining' twitches, cultural references and social ways that are theirs, not mine. I think that's rather good. It's what makes us and shapes us into who we are.
North Downs and Beyond - home of the pointless post and random stream of consciousness