Diversion Diary | Indulging In Nostalgia

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Hannah is alone during lockdown since her partner, BK, lives in the USA. Each week, she brings us some ramblings, plus a selection of the internet she’s been using to keep herself company. This week is nostalgia week.

Last week I hoped for a better future. This week, we’re going down memory lane. Not to a golden age necessarily – there was plenty in the ‘good old days’ that I’d rather not revisit. But the days before cars took over all the considerations of planning do have their merits.

Bicycles now are definitely better now than they were then. But when you look at how they were then, and the social change that they facilitated, the fact that we’re hesitant about harnessing all the comfort and technology that we have now to get us to work just shows how much we’ve structured our landscape around the car.

This week is then a trip down memory lane again. Nostalgia of a sort.

1952 Robin Hood

This week has marked a momentous moment in my relationship with BK. Forget children, marriage, buying a house, or living together. He now has a bike that lives in my garage. His intention is that it will be his town bike, for local trips into Hebden Bridge, to the pub, or the shops. It’s a 1952 Robin Hood – a brand made by Raleigh. I love the fact that it has little grease or oil access points on the chain guard, both hubs, and the bottom bracket. I’m less keen on the fact that it has rod brakes, and worry how BK will fare on the descents of Calderdale.

Pedalling Dreams: The Raleigh Story

This BBC documentary is a real treat of British bike nostalgia. There’s heaps of interesting information about how they were made – look out for the guy loading ball bearings into hubs. Then there’s the early days of bike touring and long distance adventures on quiet roads. One rider points out that the descents had to be taken at lower speeds, so that he remembered to take in the views. There’s a lot to love in this documentary, but a sad tale of the impact of the car on the company’s history. From selling over a million bikes in 1951, Raleigh went to being bought out in 1960, as bike sales across the industry dropped by 40%.


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Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

I’d never heard of this until the documentary above, but it seems that not only was it a big hit film in its day, but it has since been performed on the stage as a theatre adaptation. I’ll probably look out for a production, whenever we’re back to sitting in tightly packed indoor spaces again.

The Last Dance

Modern history here. I’ve been watching this with BK. Until now, I knew absolutely nothing about basketball – I still don’t really know the rules. You should watch this anyway. Really, it’s about personalities, teams, and relationships. And cool shoes. It’s on Netflix in the UK if you want to watch it.

A Very Loose History of Skateboard Shapes

Finally, some skateboard action. I like skateboard movies and documentaries, even though I’ve only stood on one once, and fell off. If ever I’m on a plane, it’s the thing I’ll look for in the entertainment system – you’d be surprised how often there is a skateboard something or other there. This history of skateboard shapes is really here as a segue into the next video…

Thunder Juicin’

Skateboarding, on dirt jumps. Do I need any more excuse for including this? It’s not nostalgia, it’s just fun.

That’s it. I’m all done in for this week – you can blame the magazine deadline, or the incredible heat, or my underlying sadness as my phone keeps telling me I should be getting off a plane, or onto a connecting flight, or off another plane. It’s enough to make me want to listen to some Joni Mitchell. Oh, what the heck. See you next time.

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