Friday, 30 September 2016


I find it interesting how, quite out of the blue, a song can suddenly take you back to distant memories lodged in the back of your mind - probably spanning decades.
One can be perusing the shelves in the supermarket when suddenly a song will propel your mind back decades to a particular point in your past when your emotions were moved either positively or otherwise.
I can pinpoint years by the memory that a tune evokes, even to the month sometimes. The death of my father was in April 1974 and 'Seasons in the Sun' by Terry Jacks was in the charts at the time so I can always pinpoint it. Elvis Presley's 'Are You Lonesome Tonight?' conjures up a memory from 1961.'Help' by the Beatles evokes a memory of a holiday in Sunderland in August of 1965 and 'I'm Sorry' by Brenda Lee reminds me of my short term in the Army in Boy's Service in 1962. And, of course, there are many more that act as milestones of the years gone by.

But it rather intrigues me further when I realise that the songs that I treasure and love to hear can mean nothing at all to others. Them having their own memory-jerking songs which in turn does nothing for me. This, of course, means that there is a plethora of songs of all genres out there to stimulate memories future and past down through the generations.

But moving on from that, have you ever noticed how smells and fragrances can conjure up a vivid pictorial memory of something that happened many years before? I have experienced an amazing flashback from the smell of an old kitchen which took me back to a point in time when I was aged five and staying at my Auntie and Uncle's terraced house in Hastings. The flashback allowed me to remember every detail of their kitchen including the colour of the walls, the shelves and contents, the door, the table and chairs - memories which had been 'forgotten' but stored in the recesses of my mind. I could not tell you what that room looked like now as the recall was just for that time, conjured up from the smell of a disused kitchen.

They say that at the moment of death we experience a flashback of our life. Hmm interesting! That should give me a few more minutes.


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