Sociologists have revealed that a wistful affection for a time past only affects those who cannot accurately remember the past and that déjà vu is not what it used to be. Said one: ‘We took a group of four-year-olds and asked them if they had any sentimental longing for the 1950s, and not one of them could remember the theme tune to Bonanza.’

It is now estimated that the average UK adult spends 65% of their time wallowing in the past, with the remaining 35% taken up by waiting at traffic lights and cleaning out the guttering. So wedded have we become to things long gone that most prefer to watch reruns of ‘Friends’, reminisce about the Battle of Waterloo and never change their socks.

We miss the glory days of the Empire, we go misty-eyed over Magna Carta, and we get a hard-on any time mentions the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Two-thirds of Brits still think Elizabeth I is the monarch, Vikings are a threat and that the national currency is still the turnip.

Explained one psychologist: ‘For those that want to live in a bygone era, there is always past-life therapy or failing that, a day trip to the Isle of Wight.’

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