What better way to recapture the cultural vibe of my experience in London in the late 70s than to see an Ingmar Bergman film? As it happened the British Film Institute were running a retrospective season of the Swedish director’s work and I went to see The Touch this week.
When I first started going to BFI on London’s Southbank, it was a revelation to me. In these cinematically diverse days, it’s easy to forget that back then many of us (myself included) had never seen a foreign film. We had to adapt to sub-titles and to concepts that were quite different from our diet of Hollywood and British films, with a few local offerings thrown in. It was an education and opened up whole new worlds.
Bergman, considered one of the world’s greatest directors, stands the test of time, if you feel like a little nostalgia then dive in. I loved it just as much as I did forty years ago!
My journey starts in London. I chose this time of year to avoid the tourist season and because March 1st is the first day of spring. Not this year!
I’ve been back to London a few times since I lived here in the late seventies but my plan was to revisit some old haunts and dig up some memories, unfortunately the snowy weather means it’s a major expedition to go anywhere!
I swapped my Sydney flat for a wonderful basement flat in this grand Regency building located right in Bayswater, so I’m very central but walking down the street is hard going with freezing winds and heavy snow.
I’m here for a few more days, then to Paris where the weather is just as challenging.
Sixty Summers – Synopsis:
When Maggie, Fran and Rose backpacked Europe together in 1978, they had dreams and ambitions. Now, forty years later, they are all at turning points in their lives. In an attempt to recapture the sense of freedom and purpose they once possessed, they set off on an odyssey that will test their friendship, challenge their beliefs and redefine the third age of their lives.
So, here I go – setting off to retrace part of my own youthful journey during the seventies. The only items that have survived from my trip, are a couple of photographs and this little notebook in which I recorded the daily costs. These are pretty funny by today’s pricing!
My characters are completely fictional, my quest is now to find the settings and develop the story as I travel – so come along for the ride!