We have a new liquid handwash. It's supposed to be scientifically formulated to minimise odours but doesn't quite get there. Now is not the time to mention the smells I'm…

The stuff inside the pump dispenser has an odd aroma – not fresh, not citrus-y or forest-y, not sensual or traditional, not exotically fruity, nor any combination of the preceding – just odd.

Around 40 years ago, before my family temporarily moved out during our home's refurbishment, my dad owned a lathe. It was fascinating and dangerous and, as a 0-10 year old, I wasn't allowed anywhere near it of course. Of course that didn't stop me from fiddling and, though I never turned a thing on it, it generated an obsession that…

Even without power, turning the chuck by hand, adjusting the gear train ratios to alter the shaft speeds and to sense the changed torque necessary to… heck even opening the main inspection panel was…

Its lubricating oil had a unique smell that fixed itself to my consciousness and remains with me to this day. Once it got on my fingers it was nigh-on impossible to shift that smell. I was extraordinarily careful to never get it on my sleeves – and of course failed.

Oh the irony of a thing supposed to shift smells evoking a memory of one so difficult to shift. Anyway, when we moved out, the lathe was sold.

This handwash alone hasn't just resurrected one memory, oh no. If I had a suitable metaphor to describe the oddness of what I'm feeling right now I'd use it. One after another, recollections are cascading towards me and, for the most part, they're good.

Just one thing stands out though – looking back it appears my dad really didn't understand my left-handedness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *