I made this photograph of a simple wooden door in a red brick wall. But the reason I made it is locked in my past and to one of my earliest memories.
I remember I was walking back from a shopping trip with my mother on a hot summers day in 1958. I would have been 4 years old. I recall the heat and my mother’s bright floral dress. We had stopped by this very same wall because my mother had met a neighbour and they were chatting. It was very hot.
But what fixes this so strongly in my memory and in my mind, was the sweet scent from a flowering privet hedge growing on the other side of the wall in what I assume was the rear garden of the house. Privet flowers in late summer, producing a sickly sweet aroma and that places my memory in a specific time of the the time of year. Every time I smell that fragrance my mind is catapulted back to that day back in the late summer of 1958.
I was in the same area recently and wanted to check if the wall was still there and was it how I remembered it. As it turned out, it was! The wall is now in a heritage area and part of a grade II listed building, so was well preserved. The door must be a newer addition, but the wall was exactly the same as I remembered it 60 years ago. I just wonder if behind that wall the privet hedge is still there. I’ll have to return in late summer and see if I can pick up the scent. Now that would be wonderful!