What follows is a couple of memories from my detecting past. The pictures above are from passports I have used. Apart from looking back they bear little relation to this post. The picture on FaceAche was a teaser.


Nostalgia – is missing the past good or bad for you?

I often think about my past or wish I you could go back in time, at least to the world we all once had before the coronavirus pandemic. Nostalgia has direct implications on our mental health.

Regular readers of my blog realise that I write mainly about nostalgia. I can only liken it to a feeling of being homesick and a yearning for the return to a past period and lost condition.

For centuries, nostalgia was regarded as a mental condition, but scientists now say that it serves as a positive function, improving mood and possibly your mental health. It’s good to change your mind.

But nostalgia isn’t real, is it? Every time we recall an experience, the memory becomes a little distorted. As time passes, the memory becomes further out of touch with reality and so it is hardly accurate or reliable. When people speak fondly of the past, they also tend to become more hopeful for the future. So nostalgia can in fact be a healing and a bonding experience.

On occasions I have written for Best of British, The UK’s premier nostalgia magazine covering every aspect of life from the 1930s to today. Each issue encourages you to explore your own recollections and memories in their ‘Yesterday Remembered’ section.

During my bouts of ill health and in the darkest moments I have thought of myself as a total failure but, with the help of many people, I now think positively. When reflecting back on those special moments, I’m finding value and a meaning to life. But I have long way to go: I enjoy remembering and writing about the past. ‘School of Hard Pitches’ is an amalgamation of detecting knowledge and memories of my past was one of the catalysts for this post.

I have loads of old snaps and will show pictures that are perhaps new to you from my short detecting past. I’ll leave the other 60 years of my life for another time. :-). Now, where do I start? One of the highlights of my time scribbling about detecting was the discovery of a mosaic by Mike Pittard and Anne Laverty.

Meet Mike, Anne and a Marvellous Mosaic

Mike Pittard and Anne Laverty
Roman Mosaic found Spring 2008
The Importance of teamwork. Mike Pittard, Mrs John and archaeologist Alan Graham

Photographic Competition

Mikael Charles Lander – Cover picture of The Searcher magazine- August 2013

The August 2013 cover of the Searcher magazine showed a self-portrait by ace photographer Mikael Lander. Because I was rather tired of seeing detectorists’ boring and unimaginative pictures of a lone detector resting on a spade, I invited readers to try and produce a similar or other innovative detecting shot.  The Searcher magazine awarded a fine prize.

The standard was high and Mikael helped me choose the most effective shots from the submitted entries. I thank him for his help. Here is the winning entry .

The shot of a beaming Alan Loftus holding a George V penny, is crisp and a good example of the genre. He looks very happy as you do when finding a coin. The colours are vibrant and the blue sky enhances the image. This was a popular first choice.

Alan Loftus


I was pleased to see that in Series 2, Episode 4 of the award winning show, that Lance used similar technique. Take a look at the trailer below:

From Series 2, Episode 4. Featuring: Mackenzie Crook (Andy Stone), Toby Jones (Lance Stater).

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I have so many images and stories from which to choose.


6 thoughts on “Nostalgia

  1. How apropos, John.. Just this morning my sister sent me a video of nostalgia from the 50s set to the tune of lost in the 50s tonight by Ronnie Milsap.. Like many , as we get older, I too look back and oftimes wonder what, if anything, did I do to improve the lot of the world and my world.. Then I think that I have three remarkable children and many grandbabies,,

    So.. I can feel content in my life knowing that they have all been successful in their lives and careers.


    Liked by 1 person

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