Nostalgia: smells, sounds, tastes etc…

Capuccino enjoyed in Subway

cappuccino enjoyed in Subway

Today, I enjoyed a cappuccino in Subway. The Subway was new, for a while I was the only customer, but the taste of the cappuccino took me back to my time in Worcester (UK) (2000-2009), when I often enjoyed such beverage in the cafes, there.  I hardly ever drink cappuccino these days in Tbilisi, tea is my drink of choice, redbush tea. It got me thinking how tastes can trigger or evoke long distant memories as can sights, sounds, smells and touch.

The smell of TCP antiseptic  takes me back to the old schoolyard, where I was frequently scraping my knees and occasionally my head on the hard playground.

TCP Liquid

TCP Liquid

U2 or Simple Minds tunes, take me back to my years with my first wife, Chrissie (1990-1999). After our divorce in 2000, I intentionally moved away from such music and listened to reggae as I wasn’t ready to confront all the emotions and memories triggered by hearing those old songs. “Child in Time” by Deep Purple, takes me back even further to my first year at university (1983-4), I have rarely listened to it since, my first girlfriend was crazy about the sound of Ian Gillan’s voice. I saw Deep Purple here in Tbilisi last Summer but they didn’t play “Child in Time“.

Tastes which bring back childhood memories include Bovril, Sandwich Spread, Branston (just the smell of Branston brings back memories of high tea at Grandma’s), cheese and onion flavoured crisps and lemonade. I don’t experience these tastes in Georgia (we do have some of the tastes from my childhood like Heinz Tomato Ketchup and Worcestershire sauce, but these I’ve had throughout my life, so don’t trigger a memory of a particular time).

The cool feel of a diecast car also brings back childhood memories, now my hand is bigger but the feel is the same, particularly as I have  a few in my collection that I had as a child.

Matchbox Rat Rod and Wild Cat dragsters issued in 1971.

Matchbox Rat Rod and Wild Cat dragsters issued in 1971.

Having a grandchild, also evokes childhood memories. Ana is six and has just started school  we do many things together like painting with watercolours or playing with Lego. Things I did at her age, some 40-odd years ago.

Ana playing with Lego

Ana playing with Lego


  1. Beautiful post!! The smell of rain shower on dry earth always takes me back to a particular monsoon season in India when I was 14 years old and lots of things were happening 🙂

    1. yes, rain on dry earth is a particular smell, It reminds me of working in the public library in Slough when i was 17. It had been dry for a long time then the rain started and the smell coming into the library was unforgettable, and whenever I’ve smelt it since I’m reminded of that time.

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