Thursday, 18 June 2009

Sensory memories

Two things independently this morning have caused me to bring to mind memories of old events. Funny that both were primarily led by the sensory memory - the taste of my Nan's roast dinner, the smell and sound of toasting crumpets on her open fire...

The other day on Spotify I found Supertramp - one of my favourite bands when I was in my early teenage years. I had Crisis! What Crisis? blaring out and then their first ever album Supertramp which had some very different stuff on it. That music again took me back to my old house, teenage bedroom etc.

I feel that my sensory memories are getting stronger as I get older, maybe they are I don't know. Whenever I think of these things though one awful one comes back - in my days in New York during and just after September 11 2001... When the wind blew from down town to the mid town area I was staying in it blew the dust from ground zero over the island. I'll never forget the horrible acrid taste and smell that dust had. I call it the taste of death to myself... so good memories and bad memories in one... you can't separate the ying and yang of life can you?


  1. what come to my memory is this: "the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat" and the quote from Dickens, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

  2. Blimey, you were in the thick of it on Sep 11th?
    I can't begin to imagine what that was like. I saw ground zero a year or so later - very sad.
    Supertramp - now there's a band that likes a vintage electronic piano.
    I find I have a memory of a sieve that not even smells can jog.

  3. Haha you sound a lot like me and my goings on.

    No you can't separate the two because the life of one is dependent on the other. They feed one another... Without the bad, we could never open our senses and enjoy the good.

    Never try to suppress the bad feelings, just experience them and feel the beauty in even the pain, then the good is so much more ecstatic.

    Nobody said it would be easy...

  4. Gosh, that must have been horrid.

    Much better to think of roast dinners and crumpets and ...

  5. There's an old fashioned Jewish Salt Beef bar in Edgware, it's incredible... if you like Salt Beef you won't get better than this place. Anyways, I took Mrs P there one day (not much of a treat seeing as she's a veggie!) and the moment we walked in, Mrs P said she got the most incredible flash backs to her nans house in the 70's. Aparently it had the look and the smell of the place and took her right back. She still talks about that day.

    Blimey, Sept 11th? Never knew that. You must have a lot of stories about that time.


  6. we were there 3 weeks after it happened, new york was closing at 5 p.m. insead of 4 a.m. you coldn't go anywhere like ellis island, statue of liberty etc. what i remember is that is smelled like the worlds biggest vacuum bag had blown up in a garbage dump, it was still dusty, too.

  7. Gosh, all very vivid. I do like how you can be transported back so easily sometimes.