February

It’s a funny old thing, remembering. People I knew forty or fifty years ago appear in my recall just because the wind’s blowing a certain way, or I see a grey knitted jumper, or an umbrella blown inside out, or a striped milk jug filled with daffodils, or painted iron railings, or a (now “vintage”) radio like my mother’s – the daily bringer of warm banter and blarney to our lunchtime ears from Jimmy Young and his pal Terry Wogan.

Today I “saw” Lilian again. Old as the hills, toothless, smiling, tousled white hair, a knitted shawl fastened by brooch on her shoulders, and dead these past forty years. Once my mother’s knuckle-rapping piano teacher, I regularly visited her in extreme old age at home – and was thereby introduced to bottled Camp Coffee with Chicory and an indescribably cold Victorian house with still-working gas lamps (until the “North Sea Gas Man” couldn’t execute a conversion from Coal Gas to the new-fangled stuff), a black-leaded range with lace covered mantel in the “Morning Room”, and no other form of heating. Milk froze in the bottle on the sideboard and I froze in the rocking chair. And all these years later, most every year, in fact, in still-wintry early February, I hear her delighted

I like February dear. You only need half the coals in the fire!

6 thoughts on “February

  1. Bringing back memories for me too. A little earlier than yours, but only just. My grandfathers workshop situated above a row of cottages… He was a tailor. We had to climb some wooden steps. ( with one missing!) To this day I can smell the pressed Harris Tweed and the machine oil,as I watched seamstresse with hundreds of pins attached to their overalls ,hand stitching with such dexterity and intricacy. But the over riding memory is, as with a lot of things, the atmospheric smell.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing this. Isn’t it lovely, really, that we have these recollections – and that they include the scent of things? Your memories of smell instantly brought to mind the gorgeous scent of the bread delivery man who visited our family home. The scent of bread is half of the enjoyment!

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