Sunday, 24 October 2010
Turn left down memory lane
I think it was sometime in early September that I heard a feature on Saturday morning Radio 4 about sound sculptures. Listeners recalling sounds from their childhood that are so special, that awaken lots of feelings and emotions in them. Now, if I were to be chosen to take part in Desert Island Discs (Haha), I would find it impossible to come up with my definitive list of songs. I am sn impossible chooser, will dither and dither and never feel fully satisfied that I have included all my favourite choices. I am absolutely hopeless at that kind of thing. But for some reason, as soon as I heard that feature on the radio, I knew immediately what mine would be. It's a sound that takes me back to my early childhood, that offers me a sense of security and snugness. A sound that I can hear in my head as if I just heard it...
The sound of the indicator on my parent's car. Not the sound of car indicators these days, they're far too sleek and purring. No, the slighty clinky clunky, automated tick tocking that I would hear whilst sitting in the back seat on a car journey with my parents. I don't know why it conjures up so many memories but it always does, and it always makes me feel happy. The thought of it makes me remember weekend evening journeys home from visiting aunts and uncles, driving through London dark, late and exciting. The murmur of my parents' chatting in the front and me cosy in the back with the pillows and blankets that they would always pack for the home journey for me. I would snuggle down (before compulsory seat belts!), my head a mix of excitement and woe at the thought of the oncoming school week, watching the streetlights whizz past. lulled into a gentle sleep by the sound of my parents conversation and knowing that whilst feeling this snug, school felt like years away. All of this accompanied by that gentle ticktocking of those indicators...
There could be nothing better - except perhaps the sound of those gentle clicking indicators against a background of rain, gently falling on the windscreen, now that's pure happiness! Of course nowadays, the sound of rain whilst I'm driving does nothing for me except make me slightly nervous, but I have noticed a similar look on my daughters when they were younger, bundled up in the back of the car, excited, contented and cosy.
I'm not sure if this is just a family thing. The other day in Sainsbury's the man at the till was talking to me about the rain and telling me how comforting he finds the sound of it and I told him about my indicators and how the icing on the cake for me and my indicators would be rain and I waited for the baffled look he would give me, but instead he broke into a broad smile and said "yes, I know exactly what you mean - but it has to be at least 30 year old indicators!" ... at least I'm not alone.
Do you have a sound that takes you back? That's there without you even thinki ng about it, that's easier to conjure up than a list of songs to take to that Desert Island?