Sometimes the merest reference to something from our past can cause an explosion of memory, colour, texture and aroma. It seems to touch a nerve and unleash a wave of nostalgia based on the subconscious as well as the conscious. They are old friends rather than just objects and these memories just demonstrate how intimately I knew them.
Someone recalled the small blue corner roof tile in Lego to me and I was instantly there. I could feel it between my fingers. I could feel the odd texture of the roof side and the “imbalance” of the piece in my hand. I could remember the delightful click as I finished the corner and the difficulty of sometimes fitting them in. I could hear the sound as I dismantled buildings by pulling up on the lip of the roof. Somehow I instantly realised it was my favourite Lego piece – closely followed by the clear Perspex tiny two dimple block. I remembered hours of childhood. I remember some of the bizarre projects involving the varied use of the large red wheels with loosely fitting pale grey tyres and brass coloured plugs to connect them to the white blocks with holes in them. I can visualise pieces which must have had some specialist function in the past which was forgotten the moment they joined the mixed Lego crowd.
I also have a favourite turned oak stool. I’ve no idea how old it is but it has been with my family as long as I can remember. It was probably an apprentice piece of my uncle many years ago. It has a large chip out of the rim of the seat which has worn smooth over the years. It creaks when you sit on it. I am writing this in a comfortable armchair but I can feel the texture of that stool and I can hear the precise pitch of the creak and the movement which stimulates it. I can feel the balance of it in my hand wherever I choose to pick it up and the texture of the underside of the seat where my fingers generally hold it. Crucially I can remember sitting on that same stool 45 years ago on the edge of family gatherings with my feet tucked under the frame.
These are small things but they are wonderfully rich in my mind and even writing about them now is making me smile.