Jan. 10th, 2016

hirez: (safety chicken)
One one day or another during the week, I returned home to discover that the street smelled faintly of coal fires and rather more strongly of fish and chip shops. Since there was also an overlay of salt air from the Bristol Channel, it all worked rather nicely. It also reminded me of visiting The Aunts. They weren't my aunts, they were mum's, which made them my great aunts. They used to live in a big house in Sevenhampton called 'The Homestead' which had been built by my great-great-grandfather, along with many other houses in that village + surrounding area. When I was small, so some time in the early seventies, they sold the Homestead, had a bungalow built on the vacant land alongside and moved into that.

In early seventies Sevenhampton, bungalows were of the same order of futuristic habitation as a space-module or one of the seabed research platforms you might see on Tomorrow's World. It was all built at the same time from the same material. There was a double garage that featured no wavy tin and had never been a barn. There was a thing the adults called a 'conservatory' which was a lot like a greenhouse, only not made from damp wood. There was also 'Racing from Lingfield', 'Rothmans king-size', 'The Sunday Express' and 'Advocaat'.

As you might have gathered, the smells that remind me most of that time are coal fires and boiled cabbage. Sometimes we would walk down from the new bungalow (Named 'Aylmerton', which I only discovered a few years ago is a village in Norfolk) past the tree with the parish noticeboard fixed to it and down to the ford, where you could play Pooh Sticks under the footbridge alongside. The house net to the ford belonged to (mum's) Uncle Harold. The lane up past his house to the 'main' road was (is) in a deep vee several feet below the level of the fields either side.

Since I hauled blackberries from the freezer today, I was also reminded that brambles grew thick along the sides of that lane. As a small child, I was jolly pleased with myself for clambering up amongst the thorns with a fine-fare carrier and setting about them with a will. I was somewhat less pleased to discover that The Aunts were planning to mash the berries to a pulp so as to avoid the seeds getting under/behind their false teeth.

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