Recollection

This has been a curiously retrospective weekend for me. Even the weather has felt plucked from decades past. The bleached sunniness of Saturday made me think of the 1970s – not from any personal recognition (I was born in 1976), but just something about the quality of the light, the quietness of the roads near where I live (it was Sabbath for the large community of orthodox Jews in the neighbourhood which means they were not driving their cars) and the muted anguish of the boy who banged his head on the pavement bollard. He left blood on the pavement, having run off, home, one hopes, screaming.

I wasn’t so close to the incident to assist or even to know exactly what had happened. A couple of people had been closer and were discussing it in heightened emotional terms by the time I reached them. That too made it feel as if it was from another age. No one was phoning for an ambulance from their mobile, or filming the event on their smartphone. Our ignorance of what had happened and whether there was anything that could be done felt anachronistic. The ‘violence’ also resonated for me with my quintessential summer’s day, some years ago, which was defined by walking in a park with the close-but-distant shouts of excited and possibly injured children….

But why did it feel like the 70s? I said it was something to do with the light. Maybe the way films and TV shows from or depicting the 70s are shot in a way that looks like that?

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