You can’t Top an intoxicating trip back in the fashion stakes

editorial image

DR EDWARD Bach (he of the Flower Remedies fame) would no doubt prescribe me a hefty dose of honeysuckle.

This is the plant recommended for those in danger of becoming overly nostalgic.

But I can’t help it.

Perhaps it’s my age?

Maybe it kicks in at a certain time in your life - beyond middle age but before dotage?

Recently it seems as though lots of things have sent me tripping down Memory Lane, gazing through rose-tinted spectacles and dreamily recalling the “good old days.”

“Do you get BBC 4?” a colleague asked the other day?

While I tried to decide whether I did or not (to be honest I’m not sure what television channels get beamed into the living room), I asked her why.

She thought I might be interested in watching re-runs of old Top of The Pops episodes.

Not updated and tweaked episodes, she was at pains to add. But the originals, in all their pure, unadulterated glory.

Would I? You betcha.

Naturally this set us off on a musical journey.

“Let your love flow, like a mountain stream . . . “ we chorused in unison, recalling the good old Bellamy Brothers.

The year in question was 1976 and soon we were exercising our little grey cells and trying to dredge up lyrics that had remained dormant and unsung for a good number of years, somewhere hidden away in an unused part of our brains.

“Ooh. remember Sheer Elegance?” she asked in a burst of inspiration.

Actually I didn’t but apparently they sang Life Is Too Short Girl.

I could however recall Brotherhood of Man (and Save Your Kisses For Me) and The Wurzels and Combine Harvester (even though I fervently wished I couldn’t.)

Then, as if from nowhere, Fox and S-S-S-Single bed popped into me head.

And after that, I got all misty-eyed over Candi Staton’s Young Hearts Run Free and T-Rex’s I Love To Boogie.

A few days later someone asked me if I’d heard that Chelsea Girl was returning to the High Street.

Oh, sudddenly I felt all warm and fuzzy inside, as I recalled the shop’s intoxicating interior and the thrill of going in on a Saturday and spending all my hard-earned and saved-up pocket money on high-waisted Oxford bags, tight-fitting cheesecloth shirts and flowing Boho skirts.

It was the first clothes shop I was allowed to go to unattended and buy the things I wanted to wear. And then there came one very special occasion, forever etched indelibly upon my mind: the day I was allowed to buy a navy school skirt (long and A-line) and a navy blue cardigan (fitted and cropped) from Chelsea Girl instead of being forced to choose these items from the standard range at the frumpy school uniform shop, where words such as fashion and flattering belonged to a foreign language.

When Chelsea Girl does return to the High Street, I doubt of course, that there’ll be anything in the range aimed at a 50 something-year-old, even if you happened to be a former devotee.

But sometimes these little trips into our former lives don’t harm.

In fact delving into the past can often help you cope with what’s happening in the present.