The time-traveller

Under the glow of the moon, I crouched down to pick some of the mint growing like wildflowers in our veggie patch.

I was just ducking outside to pick a little garnish for our salad, but the fragrance that erupted from the fresh mint when I picked its leaves instantly transported me to another time.

mint
I was taken back to Summer evenings spent at my Grandparents’ house, running around in their yard wild and free, cart-wheeling and playing chasey. Granddad would most likely be watering the grass or tearing an aloe vera plant apart before rubbing the gel all over himself making his sun-bronzed skin shiny and his comb over greasy. Before the sun set, we would sit fresh faced and sweaty, our skin itching from rolling in the grass, at the small white kitchen table to eat our dinner – lamb with mint sauce.

It amazes me how a single smell can evoke such a vivid memory.

Mint isn’t the only smell that has this effect on me. Face to face with an overripe tomato, I am taken back to the year 2005, standing calf deep in tomato puree with my goggles on dodging and hurling tomatoes in the biggest food fight of my life, La Tomatina.

tomatina

The scent of spray deodorant takes me back to P.E. class in high school where you weren’t anyone if you didn’t have a can of Impulse.

Then there’s the smell of rain before a big Summer storm which again takes me back to school, watching the sky turn an eery greyish green as I walk to the train station along with hundreds of other hypo girls, the wind picking up threatening to blow my uniform up around my ears.

It’s always a lovely little surprise when I unexpectedly get taken back to a time and place long ago. I could be doing something completely mundane and then all of a sudden I am time travelling.

Some memories appear to fade off into the ether and others are etched into my mind for eternity waiting for something to spontaneously trigger them and bring the moment alive once more.

Thanks for sharing my trip down memory lane with me. What triggers your memories?

52 comments on The time-traveller

  1. Bec | Mumma Tells
    February 6, 2014 at 6:13 am (3 years ago)

    Yes! I know the Impulse waft of which you speak. For me, the smell of frangipanis take me to Thailand. Sun, sand and love. Reminds me of our wedding. X

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 6, 2014 at 8:43 pm (3 years ago)

      Aww what a lovely memory, Bec x

      Reply
  2. Deb @ home life simplified
    February 6, 2014 at 7:37 am (3 years ago)

    Love this nd how awesome are you to participate in La Tomatina. I am very connected to my senses for memories so smells and music trigger most of my memories xxx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 6, 2014 at 8:43 pm (3 years ago)

      Yes, music is a great trigger too 🙂 La Tomatina was awesome. So glad we did it! xx

      Reply
  3. Me
    February 6, 2014 at 8:11 am (3 years ago)

    It’s so true that smells and sounds are linked to our memories and are great ways to transport us back in time. I love the smell of Fenjal because it reminds me of my Gran – whenever my folks go to South Africa, I get them to bring me whatever they can fit into their suitcases !!!
    Have the best day !
    Me

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 6, 2014 at 8:44 pm (3 years ago)

      Lol. I can’t say I know that smell. Obviously a South African scent 🙂 What a lovely memory it brings 🙂

      Reply
  4. Josefa @always Josefa
    February 6, 2014 at 8:18 am (3 years ago)

    Love this story and the sentiment of the time-traveler Perfume takes me back, baby scent takes me back, the smell of some food takes me back. LOVE that pic of you in tomato heaven!!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 6, 2014 at 8:45 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks so much, Josefa! Mmmm those are all great scents. I have a particular perfume that takes me back to London 🙂

      Reply
  5. Zanni Louise
    February 6, 2014 at 10:12 am (3 years ago)

    What a lovely post Renee. La Tomatino looks and sounds so crazy! But would love to go one day if I haven’t missed the boat 🙂 xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 6, 2014 at 8:46 pm (3 years ago)

      It’s on every August in Bunol, Zanni. You have GOT to do it 🙂 x

      Reply
  6. Samantha Turnbull
    February 6, 2014 at 10:41 am (3 years ago)

    That’s funny – all week I’ve been thinking how itchy my feet have been, but maybe I should just smell a few familiar scents to take me away 😉

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 6, 2014 at 8:46 pm (3 years ago)

      Lol, Samantha. Yep, that’s the only way I’m travelling at the moment 🙂

      Reply
  7. Nicole @ Life Living
    February 6, 2014 at 11:15 am (3 years ago)

    I also have a real connection to scents, they take me to my memories often. Lovely idea for a post. xxx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 6, 2014 at 8:47 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks so much, Nicole 🙂

      Reply
  8. Erin
    February 6, 2014 at 1:58 pm (3 years ago)

    to this day grapefruits and mint translate to one set of grandparents, mulberries to the other

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 6, 2014 at 8:47 pm (3 years ago)

      Ooh how lovely. I forgot about mulberries. Such a great memory from my childhood too 🙂

      Reply
  9. Kathy
    February 6, 2014 at 9:38 pm (3 years ago)

    Great post and pic from La Tomantino. I really remember things when the smell is connected to the taste – though I was a little disappointed with a dinner in Tuscany – pork and beans was literally cold pork meat with cold white beans around the edge – not exactly the authentic Tuscan cuisine I’d been imagining, but probably the rustic norm.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 7, 2014 at 1:16 pm (3 years ago)

      Doesn’t sound very appetizing at all, Kathy, but as you say it was probably quite authentic.

      Reply
  10. Martine@themodernparent
    February 7, 2014 at 6:40 am (3 years ago)

    Yes there is nothing like smell to send you back in time. Fresh cut grass reminds me of playing at my Nan’s house and Paris perfume takes me back to when I was in high school. And sausage rolls remind me of primary school lunch orders! Gorgeous post

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 7, 2014 at 1:25 pm (3 years ago)

      Ahh yes the good old sausage roll smell. Definitely reminds me of school tuckshop 🙂 Thanks for dropping in!

      Reply
  11. Lydia C. Lee
    February 7, 2014 at 7:05 am (3 years ago)

    It’s amazing how strong a trigger the sense of smell is. I am deeply jealous you did the tomato festival….lucky you! Those distinctly foreign festivals make travel more special.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 7, 2014 at 1:25 pm (3 years ago)

      They sure do, Lydia. Memories to last a lifetime!

      Reply
  12. Neets
    February 7, 2014 at 7:11 am (3 years ago)

    I love this. Ah the impulse can. My mum was so uncool when she once, and only once, tried to buy me a fake impulse can. She learnt quickly not to do that again. ha ha
    Fragrances definitely do it for me. Guys and girls fragrances. I can usually associate aftershaves or perfumes with people I know. (Jazz – my first ever boyfriend – yes blokes still wear Jazz). Old Spice & Brutt 33 – DAD! 🙂 x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 7, 2014 at 1:26 pm (3 years ago)

      Lol. Nice try, Mum! You can’t beat the real impulse 😉 Yes perfume and aftershave take me back also to certain people 🙂 x

      Reply
  13. Vicki @ Knocked Up & Abroad
    February 7, 2014 at 7:48 am (3 years ago)

    Amazing what sends you down the reminiscing track. It’s such a nice place to visit and always a lovely surprise. I get strong memory flashbacks from hearing particular songs too. “These Days” by Powderfinger reminds me of doing VCE and listening to the song in our common room surrounded by friends. A happy time. It was generally put on by one of my first boyfriends who I adored. He loved the song. Then there’s what I know as “The Running Song” which was the theme for Chariots of Fire. I am instantly taken back to our lounge room where as a child I would pretend to jog on the spot in some glorious moment. My family watched on and giggled at me. We were all together and I enjoyed the attention. I was only 3.
    Many more of those too. But every time I hear them, I am transported. Thanks for sharing your memories.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 7, 2014 at 1:31 pm (3 years ago)

      And thanks for sharing yours, Vicki 🙂 I love the Chariots of Fire one! What a great memory. I have so many great memories attached to Powderfinger songs too 🙂

      Reply
  14. Deb - An Inspirational Journey
    February 7, 2014 at 7:55 am (3 years ago)

    Freshly cut grass always reminds me of school and athletics/sports days etc. Also the dewey smell in the mornings reminds me of school camp. Then there is bio-oil and a certain kitchen spray which reminds me of morning sickness!! Some good memories, some not so good ones haha!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 7, 2014 at 1:31 pm (3 years ago)

      Oooh yep, I hate those ones that remind you of morning sickness. Not good at all. Thanks for sharing your memories 🙂

      Reply
  15. Sam Stone (@A Life on Venus)
    February 7, 2014 at 10:35 am (3 years ago)

    Oh yeah, the Impulse. YUK! Friends of mine used to spray it in their mouths to mask the cigarette smell. Total puke!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 7, 2014 at 1:37 pm (3 years ago)

      Lol!!!!!!!!! Sam Stone you crack me up. That is total puke. Hahaha.

      Reply
  16. Caroline Raj
    February 7, 2014 at 12:44 pm (3 years ago)

    What a beautiful post. La Tomatino look AMAZING!!!! So scents….antiseptic reminds me of hospitals, rotten apples remind me of hanging out a the packing shed growing up, hairspray reminds me of my mother before she headed out of an evening all glam. Smell is such a strong sense. Thank for sharing.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 7, 2014 at 1:40 pm (3 years ago)

      And thanks for sharing yours! I love the hairspray one. What a nice memory 🙂

      Reply
  17. Jody at Six Little Hearts
    February 7, 2014 at 1:27 pm (3 years ago)

    Your childhood memory with your Grandparents could easily be my own! I too remember mint growing in abundance in their yard and enjoying a hot roast decorated with it! Smells can really hold precious memories!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 7, 2014 at 1:43 pm (3 years ago)

      It’s such a lovely memory isn’t it, Jody 🙂 Thanks for dropping in 🙂

      Reply
  18. Robo
    February 7, 2014 at 7:19 pm (3 years ago)

    What a great little journey. I have an empty bottle of perfume that I can’t throw out. It smells like the down pour of torrential rain and it takes me very far away. Whenever I clean up that part of my room, I can’t seem to part with that empty bottle. I love your post. X

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 7, 2014 at 8:14 pm (3 years ago)

      Wow, Robomum! That is pretty cool. What a special bottle that must be 🙂 x

      Reply
  19. Maxabella
    February 7, 2014 at 8:30 pm (3 years ago)

    Your la Tomatina photo is awesomesauceum (literarlly!?). Smell is a very powerful connector for me too. Wattle is my childhood and jasmine is my teenage years. I have found in my life that I like a certain perfume for only a certain amount of time before ‘out growing’ it (Chanel #5 being the exception). Consequently, I smell Lou Lou (remember Lou Lou) and I’m 16 again. I smell Red Door and I’m in my early twenties. Glow and I’ve just given birth to Maxi. My current obsession is hermes jardin sur le nil. I wonder what memories I’ll associate with that!? x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 8, 2014 at 6:43 am (3 years ago)

      Ooh yes, Wattle remind me of my school days too. What lovely memories you have from perfume x

      Reply
  20. Jo @ BabbleOn City blog
    February 8, 2014 at 9:49 am (3 years ago)

    That photo is fabulous!
    I’m a smelly time traveller too. Ummm so to speak ;o)x Certain smells transport me straight back to a different time and place all the time. If I close my eyes, it’s like I’m there all over again. I suspect my daughter will be the same. Funnily enough, she discovered our mint plant recently and can’t go past it without rubbing a few leaves between her little hands and sharing the lovely smell with me.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 8, 2014 at 3:23 pm (3 years ago)

      What a lovely moment for you and your daughter, Jo. Smelly time traveller. I love it. That would have been a great title for this post!

      Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 8, 2014 at 3:23 pm (3 years ago)

      What a lovely moment for you and your daughter, Jo. Smelly time traveller. I love it. That would have been a great title for this post!

      Reply
  21. Katie (@mumabytes)
    February 8, 2014 at 1:51 pm (3 years ago)

    LOVE THAT PHOTO! Our sense of smell is an incredible one…it can transport us someplace else in a microsecond. Usually the strongest memories are linked to childhood, like the smell of a tomato plant, gum leaves, and that muggy smell after it rains on a 40 degree day – it takes me right back home. xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 8, 2014 at 3:24 pm (3 years ago)

      I forgot about gum leaves. That definitely reminds me of my childhood. Thanks for sharing, Katie 🙂

      Reply
  22. Desire Empire
    February 8, 2014 at 3:07 pm (3 years ago)

    Smell can bring back wonderful memories. I like the sound f your grand dad.
    Visiting from weekend rewind.
    Carolyn

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 8, 2014 at 3:33 pm (3 years ago)

      He was a such a lovely gentle man, Carolyn 🙂 Thanks for dropping in!

      Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 8, 2014 at 3:33 pm (3 years ago)

      He was a such a lovely gentle man, Carolyn 🙂 Thanks for dropping in!

      Reply
  23. Sonia Life Love Hiccups
    February 9, 2014 at 10:42 am (3 years ago)

    Oh Impulse…. I had totally forgotten about Impulse and now a flood of memories are coming back to me. I am like that with a fresh pack of crayons and it takes me back to a time when life was so simple and all it took to make me glow from the inside to the out was a fresh pack of unbroken crayons 🙂 xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 9, 2014 at 9:29 pm (3 years ago)

      Ooh lovely memory, Sonia 🙂 Thanks for sharing x

      Reply
  24. Grace
    February 9, 2014 at 1:13 pm (3 years ago)

    Love how smells takes you back to a particular time! I have a Jo Malone perfume that I used for my wedding. Takes me back every time!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 9, 2014 at 9:39 pm (3 years ago)

      Perfume seems to be a popular one that can trigger a memory.How lovely to get taken back to your wedding day 🙂

      Reply
  25. Lisa@RandomActsOfZen
    February 10, 2014 at 2:47 pm (3 years ago)

    Yes!!! Smell is such a powerful memory trigger for me too Renee, and I love it. And your food fight photo is way too awesome! xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 10, 2014 at 9:10 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Lisa 🙂 It’s a day I will never forget!! xx

      Reply

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