Do you have a smell, sound, vision or taste that instantly transports to you to a time and place where life was simpler? Where you were a younger version of yourself? I definitely have many of these catalysts.
The smell of stale, warm, weak, cordial in plastic bottles is a very distinctive one for starters. One ungratifying whiff and I am immediately five years old, standing under the giant radiata pine tree at St John the Baptist Primary School, Grade 1; trying to escape the withering, hot sun that only appears in Australia. Dust in my mouth, flies (it's never to hot for them) buzzing relentlessly around every orifice in my head and the rowdy boys squirting each other, using the drink taps as their drenching weaponry.
Another such ingress is gingham, that checkered fabric synonymous with all things "olde" and babylike. Fast forward several years to high school now, where we were all destined to participate in subjects prosaically known for what they entailed. That is, working with wood was known as Woodwork. Now, for mercy's sake, is it known as Product and Design (Resistant Materials) - what? But, I digress . . . .
Each student, regardless of gender, was to complete in "Sewing" (not ahem, Product and Design Technology (Fabric)) a baby's dress, made out of gingham fabric and adorned in our very best smocking handiwork, the checks definitely helped here. An uncomplicated cross stitch design was then embroidered over the top of this smock-work. Just looking at baby blue (in particular) gingham sends me back more years that I care to admit.
What's your portal into the past?