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Nadia’s Perfect 10. Forty Years On.

July 18, 2016


I’m sorry that’s the best I can come up with today.  I’d go so far as to say as it’s all I can dare to think of.
Exactly forty years ago today Nadia Elena Comăneci scored a perfect ten at the Montreal Olympics.

When I look at the world today, the tendency to want to retreat into a world of happy anniversaries seems impossible to resistible.  I am not resisting it.  Retrospection is the only future.

What song is wiser or sadder than the theme tune to “Whatever Happened to the Likely Lands?”

“Oh, what happened to you?
Whatever happened to me?
What became of the people

We used to be.

Tomorrow’s almost over,

Today went by so fast.

Only one thing to look forward to –

The Past!”


Of course, one of the saddest things about watching this very sad and poignant show is the knowledge that thanks to a fatal falling out between James Bolam and Rodney Bewes, we were to be denied seeing Bob and Terry grow old together in the 80s, 90, Noughties and Nowties.  There’s no reason why those shows should not have been made, and why those shows shouldn’t have been brilliant – other than Bolam’s inexorable refusal to forgive.

These are meandering reflections, but I’m reflecting on Nadia Elena Comăneci because reflecting on anything that’s happening on this decade, or the decade following it, seems beyond me at the moment.  Looking forward to the past (and perhaps the second wisest song ever written is “Nostalgia” by the Buzzcocks reminds me that the technology already exists (and is being deployed in the Netherlands) to allow people in retirement homes to choose the decade they want to die in – to spend their declining years suffused in a cultural bubble comprised solely of artefacts from the decade where they felt most comfortable and in control.

I believe I’ll take 1973-1983 please.

And can I take early retirement as well?



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  1. The initial aim of fascism is not to win, but to spread doom and hopelessness amongst its opponents. And thereby to render them depressed, powerless and isolated at the moment of decision.

    You’re too sharp to fall for that.

  2. I’ll feel better tomorrow.

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