Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgia

The challenge this week is Nostalgia


Ana playing with Lego

Playing Lego with my granddaughter gives me a feeling of nostalgia, for a time when I played with Lego as a child. Lego has a greater variety of colours and specialised pieces these days but the building principles haven’t changed.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Express Yourself

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Express Yourself.”

I have many different ideas for “express yourself”: flowers laid in memory of 9 April 1989, an artist with his work, an irate taxi driver, my granddaughter Ana expressing her creativity with Lego, a swallow expressing itself in its call, some neighbours launching a fire heart into the air to express their love , a girl unable to express herself like her friends having no smartphone to hand and me expressing myself with these images (my take on the world).

There are many ways to express yourself:

Express your sorrow with flowers:


Flowers expressing sorrow at the tragedy of 9 April 1989.

2. Express yourself through art (I’ve seen lots of other entries depicting arts and crafts like this one Joy)…

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Artist Antonio Guerrero with his artworks.

3. Express your anger, the red mist, through expressions, hand gestures and bad language:


A taxi driver expressing himself when someone takes his parking space…luckily you don’t hear his words just witness his expression.

4. Express yourself creatively:

Ana playing with Lego

Ana expressing herself with Lego

5. Express yourself in song:


A Swallow Expressing Itself

6. Express your love with a dramatic gesture:

Launching a fire heart

Launching a fire heart to express love

Express yourself…you don’t need a smartphone to do it…

social or anti-social media?

No smartphone…no comment

Nostalgia: smells, sounds, tastes etc…

Capuccino enjoyed in Subway

cappuccino enjoyed in Subway

Today, I enjoyed a cappuccino in Subway. The Subway was new, for a while I was the only customer, but the taste of the cappuccino took me back to my time in Worcester (UK) (2000-2009), when I often enjoyed such beverage in the cafes, there.  I hardly ever drink cappuccino these days in Tbilisi, tea is my drink of choice, redbush tea. It got me thinking how tastes can trigger or evoke long distant memories as can sights, sounds, smells and touch.

The smell of TCP antiseptic  takes me back to the old schoolyard, where I was frequently scraping my knees and occasionally my head on the hard playground.

TCP Liquid

TCP Liquid

U2 or Simple Minds tunes, take me back to my years with my first wife, Chrissie (1990-1999). After our divorce in 2000, I intentionally moved away from such music and listened to reggae as I wasn’t ready to confront all the emotions and memories triggered by hearing those old songs. “Child in Time” by Deep Purple, takes me back even further to my first year at university (1983-4), I have rarely listened to it since, my first girlfriend was crazy about the sound of Ian Gillan’s voice. I saw Deep Purple here in Tbilisi last Summer but they didn’t play “Child in Time“.

Tastes which bring back childhood memories include Bovril, Sandwich Spread, Branston (just the smell of Branston brings back memories of high tea at Grandma’s), cheese and onion flavoured crisps and lemonade. I don’t experience these tastes in Georgia (we do have some of the tastes from my childhood like Heinz Tomato Ketchup and Worcestershire sauce, but these I’ve had throughout my life, so don’t trigger a memory of a particular time).

The cool feel of a diecast car also brings back childhood memories, now my hand is bigger but the feel is the same, particularly as I have  a few in my collection that I had as a child.

Matchbox Rat Rod and Wild Cat dragsters issued in 1971.

Matchbox Rat Rod and Wild Cat dragsters issued in 1971.

Having a grandchild, also evokes childhood memories. Ana is six and has just started school  we do many things together like painting with watercolours or playing with Lego. Things I did at her age, some 40-odd years ago.

Ana playing with Lego

Ana playing with Lego

Film Review: The Lego Movie

I have been a fan of Lego since a small child. This 3 D movie conveys the story of a Lego figure called Emmet and seemed at times to just be one giant Lego advertisement (product placement to the limit). I watched this film with my wife and my granddaughter Ana at Rustaveli Cinema dubbed in Georgian.


Ana with the poster for the Lego Movie

I could marvel at the amazing Legoland vistas but some of the smart cracking, which made my Georgian wife laugh passed me by.

Emmet the central character, a run of the mill figure is joined by a mixed group of Lego figures, who want to preserve free form Lego construction from the evil grips of President Business, who wishes to stifle creativity with instruction manuals and glue. Emmet’s team includes a kick ass female called Wyldstyle, Batman, cryptic wizard Vitruvius , an astronaut and a cat with a unicorn like horn (a uni-cat?).

Here is the trailer (in English), to give you a taste of the visual aspect of the film.

The film’s look has a certain Lego “clunkiness” as one may expect – the result of ensuring that every aspect of the landscape looks like it was assembled using a gazillion  Lego pieces. When water floods a compartment, it’s one stud Lego water. When fire erupts, it’s “Lego fire.” The goosestep marching of President Business’ minions has a Lego clunkiness.

The schizoid bad cop/good cop character is my favourite, his head spins from good to bad cop at will, delightful and funny.

Some of the film may be a little scary for a five year old, but Ana enjoyed it.

It is a  joyful, joke-filled parable about the joy of making stuff especially Lego stuff, the power of imagination and the pursuit of specialness, everything pretty much is awesome.  Early in the film, Emmet gets in his one person Lego car, turns on the radio and hears a song, “Everything is Awesome.” It’s meant to be a big  joke, an ironic stab at conformity in a place where being mindlessly happy is mandatory.

Maybe now I should get the Lego out and have a play.