I always said I didn't like the 1960s. That's not strictly true, though I do think I wanted to be different from my parents, wanted something of my own, like all kids do. Mum had a whale of a time in the 1960s, despite living in rural Norfolk. Over the other side of the country, Mr Robot's mum was doing her nursing training in Liverpool and she actually hung out at all the hotspots. Yes, even the Cavern. For all we knew – she never paid enough attention to such things to remember – she'd handed her coat into Cilla, who worked the hat check there. The last time we got the pair of them together, our mums brought up the Stones-versus-Beatles debate as though the previous fifty years hadn't happened. The 1960s was so emphatically my mum's decade that I could never have a claim on it.
Despite that, there were things about those years that I loved. I got a love of The Rolling Stones and The Kinks from my mum, and when I went to university I took my own 60s mixtape made up of songs I'd liked from her Readers Digest compilation LPs. (Mixtapes from LPs... I'm halfway to being vintage myself!) I can't remember all the songs, but it included 'Terry' by Twinkle, 'She's Not There' by the Zombies, and 'A Whiter Shade of Pale' by Procul Harum. Then there was The Avengers, Bond films, spy films, Hammer horrors and even – yes, I admit it! - some of the Carry On films. Since I started blogging, Miss Peelpants has really shown me how beautiful high-end 1960s fashion can be, and Vix and Curtise have shown me how wearable lots of it still is. The 1960s was an explosion of options, of all sorts of youth cultures and radical changes in art, of political movements and fashion trends, and even if the whole decade isn't for you, there will be something there to love. I love the 1960s jazz age revival (we're further from them than they were from the 1920s!).
2015 started badly, when my mother-in-law passed away in February. I won't fib and say it's been easy; it's been many times worse for Mr Robot, but there hasn't been a single day when I haven't found myself contemplating the unfillable hole in our lives. And since then, several of the decade's real icons have passed away, including Christopher Lee and Patrick Macnee, two of my favourites. Perhaps the tone of 2015 was set early for me, and it's going to be a year when all the celebrity losses mean so much because they're coming on top of one big personal one, but I got a bit upset at the news that Cilla Black had died. My mum thought Cilla was great – she's even got an LP, 'Cilla Sings A Rainbow'. (I hated that one!) The faces, the voices, the actual memories of the decade are going, and I can't get my head around it. Losses to accident and misadventure (Hendrix, Joplin, Jones) are one thing, but to plain old age? 'How can the living part of the 1960s be going? The 1960s aren't old!' my head says. And it makes me feel really rather sad.
|Nice pins, Cilla|
So, on a cheery note, do you have a favourite 'thing' – song, film, outfit, whatever – from the 1960s? I think my favourite 1960s outfit that I own has to be my Evans Tweensize dress. And next time I go back to Norfolk, I'm going to try to get some photos of my mum from back then. I don't own any, and I really want some for my collection.