It occurred to me while watching the ‘wrong’ Scrooge. That is the one from 1970 with Albert Finney. The 1951 film with Alistair Sim is the ‘right’ one. Obviously, The Muppets’ Christmas Carol is the best of the genre. Some things about Christmas can be disappointing. Maybe the Dickens book that pertains most to Christmas is actually Great Expectations.
For the week before Christmas I get excited. Child-like excited. I get butterflies in my stomach. I enjoy the ‘to do’ list of festive things. I want to make it all perfect. Then I start to think about the supermarket ad version of Christmas. The big, bustling family. Games. Champagne in a big ice bucket. A perfectly fitting velvet dress. A handsome husband – OK I get that one, but no chance he’s wearing a suit. Snow falling. A puppy with a red bow around its neck. It’s absolutely ridiculous. It’s a work of fiction. It’s a nonsense spreading to make us feel like somehow we are failing so we buy stuff and feel like we are winning.
Twenty years since the summer the Spice Girls landed. That’s a number that festers! I still remember that summer so well.
I loved the Spice Girls. When Wannabe came out, my sisters and I watched the music TV channel, The Box, non-stop. We even knew the three-digit code that showed someone has just called to hear Wannabe and got excited. I was twelve. The girls had a better excuse – they were six and five.
The old cliché: those were the best days of my life… As a student in Edinburgh from 2002-2006 I frequented a club that was neither classy nor credible. It wasn’t exclusive. It certainly wasn’t glamorous, but it was fun. On a Wednesday night it was so fun it was legendary. Simply referred to as ‘The Cav’, it didn’t even need a full name. On arrival we would head straight upstairs without a look at the main club area, up to the 80s-tastic top floor. Many metaphors could be made about cheese. Let me say this. It was Dairylea. Reminiscent of innocent times. Convenient. Cheap. And the nostalgia is probably better than the reality. Anyway, one of the classic floor-fillers from that time was ‘Summer of 69’ by Bryan Adams. I honestly felt, so far, those were the best days of my life.