Saturday, 2 May 2009


I took the kids to the park, beach and duckpond yesterday. It was the park I played on almost every day as a child, the beach I woke up to every morning and yet it was the pond that brought back the biggest memories.

Why? The scent of a shrub. I don't know what it is, but there was a big bungalow near my house which had it all round the garden and you couldn't walk past without smelling it. There is one shrub in the garden around the pond and the scent was heavy yesterday.

It brought back memories of persuading my mum to walk the long way home from the shops which took us past the pond so I could see the ducks and maybe scrounge a piece of the fresh bread she'd just bought so I could feed them. And walking through the shady lane behind it with Pop, my grandad, holding tight to his hand. So began a cascade of memories which ended up with the milk on the doorstep freezing in the winter and the cream poking out of the tops of the bottles with the little lid perched on top.

So how did I get from a scented shrub to frozen milk bottles? I have no idea, but when I went to bed my mind was whirling with memories.
I've heard it said that the sense of smell is the most powerful. Perhaps it is.


  1. Smells bring back memories for me, too. The first time I walked into my daughter's school I was transported back 30 years to my own childhood - I think it was the aroma of floor polish and wax crayons.

    Great photos - looks like you had a good day.


  2. Oooh yes, the smell of schools! That's one you never forget!

  3. The smell if my childhood home is of perm solution. Mum was a frustrated hairdresser - she'd wanted to be one but in those days you had to pay to do an apprenticeship and her parents couldn't afford it. She was self-trained and every old lady in our street came to Mum for perms and they all went out with identical hairdos.

  4. Ahhh perm solution! Weren't they called Toni home perms?

  5. Mum didn't like Toni. She always used Twink.
    What a silly name. Hadn't considered it before.

  6. Twink! I'd forgotten about Twink!