Thursday, 3 January 2019

'Remembrance of things past'

You have to believe me when I tell you that, although one always has things happen which remind one of the past, these flashes of memory increase with age - and what is more they become more poignant.   This was brought home to me by reading my son's post (made out of words on my sidebar).   His poem speaks of how hearing 
Tubular Bells reminds him of the past.   I am sure such things happen to you; they happen to us all.

Sitting over my coffee after lunch I mulled the idea over in my mind.   Tubular Bells (I haven't heard the sounds since my son left home to go to University in 1973) but the very mention of the word reminded me how he would latch on to a favourite piece of music and, for a while, it would consume his every waking moment (he did read music at Uni and does work in music now).

Now that I am severely deaf music, sadly, plays little part in my life.   But there are so many other memories that drop into my mind at the tiniest reminder.   Here are a few which spring to mind:

A mention of violets on a comment on my post yesterday immediately transported me back to  a railway embankment just outside the village where I grew up in Lincolnshire.  It was the main line to the North - we often used to go there in case we saw The Flying Scotsman (sometimes we did - it was all steam in those days) - and in early Spring the banks were covered with violets (the smell was divine).

Salads with lettuce as a base - I am not all that keen on lettuce, it always seems a bit nondescript-
I have only to look at the lettuce and I can recall my school friend Janet (we are still in contact now).  She was an only child and I was ostensibly as my brother and sister had by this time left home and her parents used to like me to go to tea as often as I liked so that we could play together.   I loved to go because she had the best toy farm I have ever seen -not seen a better one since - and I loved to play with it.   So we would eat our tea quickly and then out would come the farm on the table.   Always for tea we had lettuce sandwiches (her Dad was a keen gardener and grew an abundance of lettuce).   I would eat them, and enjoy them although at home I didn't like lettuce.
Now - see lettuce on the table and it doesn't take much to transport me back to setting up the barns and the fences and then bringing out the cows and horses to put in the fields.

I could go on - as I am sure you all could - but I don't wish to bore you.   But I'd love to hear of a few things which dredge up your memories.


33 comments:

Red said...

Yes, I have memory triggers like this when I'm taken back and the memory is very vivid. You've given me some ideas for a post! Have a nice day although your day is half over. It's 8:06 AM here right now..

donna baker said...

You reminded me of an antique fair in Paris. I brought home a metal farm with every sort of farm animal and two ladies in old french clothing. Too old to play with it, but I have it all set up with a barn in the guest room. Donna@gather

Elise Griffith said...

Everywhere I've lived, I've either planted roses or they were there when I moved in. So far, that's been in 10 states across the U.S. from one coast to another (and several places in between). My grandmother grew them. So did my mother. Their beauty and scent reminds me of the sunny, summer days of childhood and the women who helped make those seasons special. My grandmother also grew sweet peas and violets in her Wisconsin garden. Daylilies remind me of our years in Ohio... honeysuckle of Virginia... columbine of Colorado... lilacs of north Texas... rhododendrons of Oregon... and so on. I hope I never lose my sense of smell.

Anne Brew said...

Whenever I scrape a yogurt pot with my spoon to get the last bit out I think of Pippa who I worked with 40+ years ago who would scrape and scrape till someone would say - Oh for goodness sake - enough - you’ve finished!

hart said...

There was a certain smell to my Great Aunt's house, bit citrus, furniture polish, probably a bit dust. I've inherited her china cabinet (and the contents.) If I try I can still find that scent and then walk through her house.

Christine Phipps said...

Seeing minature bottles of spirits reminds me of when I was a child .
My father was a chauffeur at a big house just outside Stratford on Avon and once a week my mother went to clean the silver and I aged about three went with her , they had a large wicker hamper filled with minature bottles of sport its which I would play with , but the best bit was that a girl came in a van from a large bakers in Stratford to deliver cakes and bread and she always gave me a cake which I chose . Sixty odd years ago now but as clear as if it was yesterday .

Derek Faulkner said...

I saw a mention on somebody else's blog the other day, of the mixture that we used to make to feed the chickens in our back yard. It was cooked potato peelings mixed with bran, it had a special smell that I can still smell today in my mind and always takes me back to those childhood days.

jinxxxygirl said...

The smell of Sand and Sable perfume and Oil of Olay face cream reminds me of my Grandmother that i spent every Summer vacation with her.....

Mrs Shoes said...

My daughter announced (at Christmas) that they are expecting a baby. That announcement flooded me with emotions and memories...

Gwil W said...

If I see a red tartan travel rug it reminds of family picnics in Snowdonia and egg and tomato sandwiches on Mother's Pride white sliced bread. And of course the flask of tea and the milk in a medicine bottle.

Tracy said...

Sitting on a step in the sun shelling peas or stringing runner beans instantly takes me back to my great-grandmother's garden when I was a child, so much so that I purposely go outside whenever I have either job to do.

Anonymous said...

Smells bring back memories for me.

My Nan would keep her loose leaf tea in her sideboard, and when she opened the door the smell was like nothing I had ever smelt before. It was warm, comforting and safe.

She also kept her silver cruet set in there as well, which I am lucky enough to have now (I am 73)

Ree x

Heather said...

Forget-me-nots and tulips grown together as they used to in my grandmother's garden; bluebell woods through which I walked with my father to visit his mother; the smell of hot tar when roads are being repaired and the sight and sounds of a steam roller takes me right back to being 8 years old; and a lovely bowl of creamy porridge with a knob of butter in it reminds me of warming winter breakfasts. You are right Pat, there are so many reminders of times past.

Joanne Noragon said...

Iris! Flags, my parents called them. There was an iris bed down the side of the house my parents bought n 1945. We gathered iris by the bucket full, and on Memorial Day (May 31st, every year) put them on the graves of deceased relatives. It was a day then to remember all the dead, not just the mighty soldiers.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Sunny Afternoon by the Kinks.
It is indeed a sunny afternoon and all the classroom windows are open. Someone decides that we'll all sing Sunny Afternoon to annoy the Latin master who is about to arrive for the next lesson. It misfires rather as he doesn't object at all but joins in lustily with the chorus then decides that the class will translate the song into Latin. And that's why, though the rest of the translation has disappeared from my mind, I can inform you that "drunkenness and cruelty" came out as "crapula et crudelitas".

the veg artist said...

The smell of geraniums. My great-aunt used to have a great slate bench full just inside the farmhouse door. When my brother saw me trimming my own geraniums he just laughed. He rememberd them too.

Bea said...

The smell of wet euculyptus brings me back to playing in the hills behind our house when I was a child. My grandma had a standing clock that chimed in the style of Big Ben, so when I hear that familiar set of notes, I always think of visiting her house when I was a girl.

Terra said...

How lovely to recall violets growing in profusion or how you enjoyed lettuce sandwiches and your friend's toy farm. Just this morning for some reason I sang two folk songs, its funny how I can recall the words from some songs of decades ago. One was "Silver Dagger" and the other "Mary Hamilton", both old English songs, I think.

Mary said...

I sniffed a sample of Tiffany & Co. perfume just prior to Christmas. Such a lovely fragrance which immediately reminded me of my dear grandma - and my childhood in Devon. She cared for me a lot whilst mum and dad worked hard to make ends meet after the War. I told Bob and guess what, Santa brought me a beautiful crystal spray bottle of the perfume. Sitting here now with dab of the fragrance, and see the photo of my grandma on the bookcase.
Ah the lovely memories. You are so right Pat, they do come more frequently as we age.

Happy New Year my dear, wishing you well and another year of joyful times with family and friends.
Mary -

Anonymous said...

We had a teacher who wore bright red nail polish and lipstick. She also used a perfume. 67 yrs later if I see someone with bright red polish and lipstick Mrs Suttchliff is standing in my grade 1 classroom teaching. 2 of my brothers and a sister say the same thing, she immeditally flashes into our minds. BTW. she was loved by every child she ever taught. Made us love going to school.

Sue said...

The sweet scent of freesias. I was a five year old bridesmaid at my Aunty Pearl's wedding and they were in my posy.

Dahlia88 said...

The scent of wallflowers and I am walking through our garden as a small child.....it was full of them.

shadypinesqltr said...

The smell of "real" tomatoes brings back my grandfather's greenhouse on a summer's day. I would open the door and, inside, the sun warmed air would smell of ripening tomatoes and he would be whistling. Also, egg and tomato sandwiches reminds me of taking the train to the seaside (Co. Durham) but they never taste as delicious as my Mum's. Must have been the sea air.

Sue said...

I don't bake very often, but whenever I do I think of my grandmother. My two sisters and I were her only grandchildren, and she doted on us. Everything I know about birds and flowers came from her. She loved to read and read out loud to us often. She would bake with us and then we would have tea and read our fortunes in the tea leaves. What an incredible person she was. She loved to read about England and English gardens, and I was fortunate enough to be able to take her to England before she died.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

I love Tubular Bells, there are many worse pieces of music he could have played

lynney62 said...

Hello...I have followed your blog for quite a long time now and I so enjoy reading about your life in the UK...I am also a "senior" widow (been a widow for 30+ yrs) and I live in Illinois, USA in a small rural town...I also follow the lovely blog http://momsscribbles.blogspot.com/...Your "Remembrance" writings today reminded me so much of all the memories of my childhood which I felt after readings "Mom's Scribbles" today...And yes, it seems those memories come very freely now as I get older...I guess it has something to do with the arrival of another "new" year...Thanks for blogging, Weave...sorry I'm not much of a commenter, but am always a daily reader....Wishing you a very "Happy New Year" :)

lynda said...

The blacksmith's ( farrier) coal forge! I still love that coal smell.. he carried around in his truck as he drove from stable to stable!!!

Cro Magnon said...

When my wife was small, she had a wonderful German antique set of farm animals, buildings, etc. One day a cousin visited and loved playing with it, and her mother put it all into a box and gave it to him. My wife never forgave her mother. She still moans about it today.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

The smell of ham baking brings me back to my grandmother's house when I was 5 or 6 - it seemed it always smelled of ham, though that might have been because we always went to her house for Sunday dinner and everyone loved ham, so I suppose she cooked it many times. The sweet scent of lilacs takes me to our first home in California, a huge lilac bush grew outside the dining room window and we kept the window open most of the time and the warm California sunshine would intensify the smell and the slight breeze would spread it throughout the house. The smell of snow in the air takes me back to growing up in Alaska - the hint of the first snow and the promise of sledding and soon ice skating on the lake. Thank you for the reminder of memories so sweet.

thelma said...

Well for me it is some miniature silver dolls furniture that sits on the windowsill, demanding to be cleaned. And I always think of my MILs house in Blonay and sitting down and cleaning the silver, the blackness and the smell....

Diana Hyman said...

In the states many Walmart stores have a Subway sandwich shop at their entrances. For many years when my mother could no longer drive I would take her to shop there every Saturday and we would have a lunch at the little restaurant. Now every time I see one I am sitting at the window seat with my mom. When I am picking green beans in my garden I am with my dad in his garden being admonished not to pull up the plants by picking too harshly.

The Weaver of Grass said...

What beautiful memories you all have and how pleased I am that I asked you the question.

Anonymous said...

I am a little late in responding, but I did enjoy your post. I love it when a memory catches me and takes me back to a bygone time. Over Christmas, I had a sudden memory of when I was little and my parents had made crepe paper decorations for the living room. Each night my dad would put me on his shoulders and I would touch the crepe paper as a goodnight ritual before bed.
Flowers are very evocative --- I'm living in Canada but lived in the UK until I was in my twenties, and your memory of the train bank made me think of primroses - I do miss primroses, wild violets growing in woods, and seeing a sea of bluebells.
I always read your blog. I live in Winnipeg, but grew up on farms in Kent and Hertfordshire. So much changes as one gets older, but I do find memories a comfort. We were not very well off growing up, but my parents always made sure I had books to read, nourishing food and love. I think of them often. I feel fortunate to be able to spend time with my own grandchildren and play with them, enjoy books with them and hopefully make their childhood a time of good memories. Jean, Canada