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Nostalgia gets us all...
An excellent debut crime thriller from kiwi author, Cat Connor.
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This is a different kind of blog for me.

It was triggered last night with a comment by John Campbell (let me find a link so you yanks know who I'm talking about here - forget that - I forgot the 'link function' in here doesn't work, so I can't make it look pretty.) How about this then http://www.3news.co.nz/tabid/283/Default.aspx

 Okay so you're up to speed, yes? John is marvelous - we love him. (My 10 yr old developed a huge crush on him when she was 4 - she still treasures the email from John. So cute! Of course if she sees this the Squealer will squeal with horror!!)

Moving right along.

A twitter comment last night from John filled me with nostalgia which in turn sparked this blog. (Not to mention dreams of slogging up treacherous dark steps carrying heavy dishes.)

John and I grew up in the same city. (Chances are he even remembers The Last Resort and The Rock Theatre - where yours truly spent MANY hours listening to Hello Sailor, Street Talk and various other bands.) 

This seventies memory has nothing to do with 'buying' an empty glass and getting pissed at a cafe on smuggled vodka and everything to do with the feeling of the time.

Parties that parents threw and attended. The pot-luck dinners. The pottery plates. How every child made some kind of hideous pottery ashtray for a 'delighted' parent. Which sat, pride of place on the coffee table for years.

Temuka stoneware. We had a full service of that VERY HEAVY flatware and all the casserole dishes. My god you needed good arm muscles to hulk those casseroles about to pot-luck dinners. I think that stuff was damn near bomb proof! You sure as hell couldn't break it by dropping it.

The morning after the night before and that god-awful fish casserole thing with cornflakes on the top  would be sitting on the bench - barely touched. (Why make it?) There were never any tasty left overs. Desserts were demolished early on.  Ashtrays spilling over. The smoky haze enveloping the room long after the last guest staggered to their car. 

Back in those days people staggered to their cars and somehow made it home. It was the miracle of the time.

 My brother and I would slurp the dregs of various glasses while wondering why all parties smelled the same. Everyone had the same incense. 

Of course aged 9-10 I had no clue that the incense was a valiant attempt to disguise the sweet undertone of pot. Imagine my surprise when as a teenager I came across a familiar smell at other parties and discovered the origin?

 I have a love to this very day of, cigar smoke (you thought I was gonna say pot, didn't you?). So many men smoked cigars at parties - cigars remind me of laughter as does the smell of Johnny Walker Black label whiskey. 

As a younger child we attended parties with the parental figures. All kids did. There was always a room for the kids, with beds made up. That was fun. A heap of us all in one room... and parents checking at regular intervals.  You could always con someone else's parent to bring snacks and fizzy drink! By the end of the night they were quite pliable those parents. 

 I remember wearing little black and white Scotty dog badges that came from some kind of whiskey bottle... and beer cap badges. Dad used to take the cork out of the back of beer bottle tops then use the back to secure the top to our tee shirts. (worked like a badge) Of course you don't get cork inside beer bottle caps these days!

I can still smell the smoke/pot/incense filled air and taste the whiskey in the bottoms of those glasses. And hearing The New Seekers brings so many colorful memories to light. (They seemed to be favorite party music along with lulu and Ray Woolf but everything was edged out when Abba came along... sad really. And that is why I know those damn Abba songs so well. I don't like them , never have. But they get in, kinda like fondue really - seems like a good idea at the time, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired - or more accurately leaves drippy cheese all over your party clothes.)

Who in gods name ever thought wrapping prunes in bacon would be a good idea?  

I'm done with the nostalgia for now.

Once I was a little girl hoping there would be Pavlova left over for breakfast never dreaming that one day I could just make it myself. Or that one day - I'd be gearing up for the release of my second crime thriller and planning another release party! 

Maybe we should go seventies pot-luck dinner? :-)