The 25th prompt was to share our best childhood memory.
[caption id="attachment_390" align="alignright" width="296"] Nanna, the rose garden, and the apple trees[/caption]
Many of my strongest childhood memories are just snippets really, and most are triggered by smells. One place that smells keep taking me back to is the house where I was born. My paternal Grandparents rented the house from friends who owned a farm in Silver End in Essex. It had the most wonderful garden (almost an acre), with chestnut trees, grape vines, a huge pampas grass and apple trees - a brilliant place for playing hide and seek! Nanna had a rose garden at one side, which used to fill the air with a gorgeous heady scent, and the smell of roses always transports me there. Grandad's passion was for cacti, and I found his collection fascinating. The smell of warm compost, cactus and wooden greenhouse is just as evocative for me as that of the roses. Grandad's study had a very particular feel too. I was only allowed in there sometimes, so it seemed quite exotic, but it also seemed outside of time, the only movement being the dust motes that danced in the sunbeams and the heavy ticking of a big clock on the mantlepiece. I felt the same feeling in our dining room the day we first viewed the house, and it was one of the reasons I wanted to live here.
There are so many little details about that house that I remember fondly - the pebbledashing (I used to pick the pebbles out), the bubble pattern on the kitchen door glass, the feel of conkers underfoot, the squiggly black pattern on the yellow table in the kitchen, the special drawer in the sideboard that contained Christmas cake decorations... The house came up for sale about 10 years ago, but it's been extended so much that, even if I could have afforded it, it wouldn't have been the house I remember. Although that house is irretrievably gone, it will always be a source of very happy memories for me.