I love when I use some simple product, like hand cream, and it transports me back to one of my homes ... riding a memory.
Destination 101 Islington Street, Invercargil.
The square brick house that backed onto Turnbull Thomson Park, the house with the glasshouse that filled with tomatoes in summer. Where the soul of the house was located in the body of the coal range Nana cooked on. Where there was a garage, with accordion-like folding doors that fascinated me.
As children, we watched the trains pass by on the tracks at the back of the park. The excitement of seeing them, counting the carriages, receding as we grew older.
Today I drifted back in time, to Nana's red formica table, there in the kitchen. To those early morning cups of tea we had before breakfast, dunking our Griffins wine biscuits while Nana skim-read The Southland Times. Her most beloved newspaper, always.
Today's hand cream was L'Occitane. A plain one, for dry hands. So simple and yet it became some kind of time machine that allowed to me to revisit Nana's kitchen. To remember her red lipstick, stored up on the ledge above the range. And the small mirror she used to apply it, hanging there on a nail near the breadbin. The ticking white clock, with its heavy tock and black hands ...
I remembered the creak of the door to the hallway, remembered the smell of that house that gifted me such a strong sense of home that, after so many years, I find it's still there in my memories. Just as it was.