I had the strongest craving for honey this morning, but it couldn't be just any old honey. It had to be that white firmly set honey. I have no idea what the official name for this stuff is, but it's not the normal runny kind of honey.
Anyway... this craving came out of the blue after I was walking past a little house the other morning on my way to a meeting. The distinctive morning smell of toast and honey wafted out from the house and suddenly I was on sensory alert and the smells ignited a memory of sitting in my Nanna's sun room as a little girl and eating crumpets with honey.
The memory was as clear as if it had only been that morning and I could practically feel the sun on my back as I sat at the little table for two next to the bookshelf that housed her mix of gardening books and children's books. I could hear the little tiny birds happily chirping in her pretty flower garden out back and I could clearly see the little pots of African violets and mini ferns on the windowsill and her teapot with the knitted cosy sitting on the table between us.
It has been thirty something years since I sat in that sun room and my Nanna has been gone for nearly 13 years now, so those memories had made quite the trek to come back to me. It's funny how after so long a single smell can jolt you back to a time and a place that you have not spared a thought to in donkey's years.
The smell of vinegar has the same effect on me, reminding me of standing barefoot in the fish and chip shop ordering dinner with my parents on a a balmy summer evening.
Salty sea air and the smell of zinc reminds me of sandy feet, sunburned skin and burning the backs of my legs on the scorching hot vinyl seats in our rusty old Ford on our way home from the beach.
The smell of plastic toys remind me of trips to the Easter show when I was a little girl and the scent of freshly extinguished candles has me back in the cardboard fridge box I had set up in the backyard as a cubby house, complete with little shelves made out of bricks and scrap wood and a plastic tarp over the roof.
It's not just honey that reminds me of my Nanna - mangoes, camphor and lavender also remind me of her, as does the perfume Anais Anais and rose talcum powder.
Eager to enjoy those precious memories for a little longer, I sat in my kitchen this morning and ate crumpets with white firmly set honey.
There were no little African violets on my windowsills and I drank coffee instead of tea, but I did spend a good 20 minutes eating in silence and allowing myself to drift back to sleepovers at my Nanna's house, afternoon teas at her friend's houses and the joy of pinching the iced vovos and shortbread biscuits she kept in a plastic container in her pantry cupboard.
It's nice when forgotten memories pay you a visit isn't it? And it's totally awesome the way that certain smells can often be the key to unlocking them.
Are there any scents or smells that trigger a memory of something or someone from your past?
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