What triggers a memory? What is it that occasionally transports you back to that different time and place where the common thread seems so infinitely insignificant? With a little thought the answer is perhaps quite obvious – a smell, a situation, an image. Any number of things provide that link with the past to the present. So it’s kind of funny that today I managed to squeeze in two such back to the future moments.
Today was beautifully hot. The first such day we have had this summer and I’m not complaining. For the simple fact that millions of Britons skimp and save 50 weeks a year to board a plane and head south for a slice of sun, sunburn and the odd beer. So, sitting in our guest dining room at La Rectoria having spent a few hours tending the garden with grease and dirt on my shirt and trousers, accompanied by the honest glow and sweat of that work, I was contemplating our potential choice of dining chairs when I was teletransported back to an anonymous hotel in Edinburgh on a Saturday afternoon like countless others when I would have been preparing for the dinner service that evening or a banqueting function for 400 odd similarly anonymous persons. The link – simply that I would be doing much the same thing all too soon, but for me and maybe 14 other guests. A pitifully small number in comparison but with the relish that they will be our guests in our home.
The second flashback took me back 40 plus years to something of an enchanted childhood – the enchantment being a castle shared with some magic friends. The trigger this evening was the shrill scream and swoop of some 30 swifts as they dived over the houses and gardens in Cardedeu as the swallows had filled the skies at Brotherton Castle in their pursuit of flies and other fluttering insects. Here the swifts and swallows salute the onset of dusk and the bats see out the setting of the sun and it is a majestic summer evening scene. At school they symbolised freedom in both time and space. I suppose the underlining thread to all this is our invitation to celebrate the wedding of school pal, Patrick and his wife Mandy. Now that will be something to remember.
So much for nostalgia. The future is looking pretty damned good up the road where many cyclists voiced their approval of our endeavours as the passed to and from on the carri bici adjacent to La Rectoria today. The ‘Opening Soon’ sign will be up ‘pronto’. And if those are our choice of dining chairs, they’ll give your aitch bones some darn good comfort.