A Touch of Nostalgia Part 3

Recently, my husband and I have gone in for some 1970s’ retro culture. Well, why not. The 1970s were fun times, colourful times, although I drew the line at flared trousers, fringed jackets and jumpsuits (which, according to the fashion slot on Lorraine this week, are all back in fashion). We’ve bought a lava lamp! And we love it. I had one years ago, back in the 1970s when they were all the rage, only to have it broken some years later when someone picked it up, not realising the lamp was in two parts. The glass fell to the floor and broke. I was sad at the time and couldn’t afford to replace it, nor could the culprit find another to take its place, so I hadn’t really thought much more about it in the ensuing years.

100_6773So here sits our new lamp. Slightly different from the original I owned; that had a copper base and cap, and red glass. The new one has a multi-coloured base and a red, blue and green glass, creating bubbles and bits in all colours. As hypnotic as watching flames in a fire, we spend ages watching it work, the shapes and movement reminding me of the background images that used to be played behind performers at all the concerts I went to during the early 1970s – Quo and Queen, Fat Mattress, Renaissance, Fleetwood Mac – the list is endless and full of happy memories.

It got me thinking of other things from the 1970s I loved, and miss. I remembered I used to have a kinetic ball and wire table decoration. It was black wire with golden balls, the base filled with sand. A simple ornament that swayed and moved in the slightest of breezes as you walked past. I can’t remember what happened to mine; probably got broken at some stage and thrown away without a second thought.

ball ornament

Then there was the dark green pottery vase, almost 3 feet high, from which sprouted a mass of tissue paper flowers, the size of dinner plates. Mine were made by a friend. Big, blousy blooms standing nearly as tall as me that matched my red, orange and yellow geometric lounge curtains and similarly coloured psychedelic rug. The “in thing” to decorate the home at that time, along with tall feathery stems of white pampas grass, which eventually dropped their fine dandelion-like hairy seed heads; a right pain to keep clearing up.paperflowers2

There were real houseplants as well – pink busy lizzies with pale green leaves and stems that grew to humongous proportions – every home seemed to have one. And not forgetting the spider plants, and a cactus or two – cuttings from my mother’s lanky monster called Fred. Whilst you can still get spider plants and cacti, the indoor busy lizzie is no more, thanks to being killed off by a virus or mildew, rather like our outdoor ones have been.


No doubt, I shall suddenly think of other homey things I had around the house, long forgotten or lost. It’s good to remember these things now and again; they bring a sense of continuance and comfort, spark happy, and sometimes sad, memories and who knows, if I search hard enough I might find them again. Thank goodness for the Internet!

What, if anything, do you miss around the home from that era? I’d love to know.

Tip of the Day:  When boiling potatoes, a few drops of olive oil or a small knob of butter will help prevent the saucepan from boiling over.

10 thoughts

  1. A fabulously psychedelic post, Kit! I was a child of the seventeen and remember it well – especially the music. It was Led Zep for me and my own kids love 70’s music too. Son #3 once told me he missed out by not being around in the 70’s – ‘cos it was so cool!
    Love, Janice xx


  2. So many memories! As well as lava lamps there were fibre optic lamps – very pretty with their rotating colour changes. Keeping tropical fish was also a big thing then. Internal Cotswold stone walling was all the rage and I remember some people actually having their fish tanks built into walls in their lounges. Paper flowers – yes! Made them from a kit, displayed in a large copper jug in the dining room. House plants too were very popular – Swiss Cheese and Rubber Plants in particular – heavens I could go on all day! A lovely post, thank you for bringing this all back!!


    1. Oh gosh, there were so many things in the 1970s, I could write a book, Jo. We couldn’t afford a fibre optic lamp when they first came out. Fell in love with one at the Ideal Home Exhibition in 1971. Was sooo expensive and so new. Of course, now they are everywhere and so cheap. I’d forgotten my Swiss Cheese Plant. Had it for years. Remember moving to Gloucestershire from London with it sitting on the floor at the back of my Mini, along with boxes and 2-year-old. And ssshhh … I still have internal Cotswold stone walling in my house here – not for much longer, though, its days are well and truly numbered. 🙂


  3. Wow do I remember the lava lamp and kinetic ball. Loved this post. I could have stepped in your house and felt like home, ours stuff was so similar. Even had the Christmas cactus. And, good tip on the potatoes.


    1. The drop of oil works when boiling eggs, Lavada, I also found out this morning. Tried as an experiment. Pan didn’t boil over nor did any eggs crack, which one or two normally do on me. Am hunting down a ball ornament. Decided I would like one again. 🙂


  4. Oh Kit you brought back many memories with this post, I has almost all you have shown! I love your new lava lamp, maybe my next visit to the UK may see me bringing one back. I loved the 70’s too, it was a time of hope and optimism, maybe because we were all that much younger. I guess that was it! A wonderful post. Thank you for sharing. x


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.