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?

12 comments:

Gina said...

I'd forgotten what a lovely clunky sound those indicators used to make. For me it is rain on canvas. I always hated our wet camping holidays as a child and you'd never get me in a tent now but somehow it's a comforting sound.

Annie xx TheFeltFairy said...

What a lovely post! I do remember the sound of indicators now that you mention it - clunk clunk!

Thimbleanna said...

A very sweet post Ms. Kim. I can't picture what you mean by the "indicator" sound -- I guess if we had it, I didn't notice it. I really don't know what kind of sound brings those memories to me -- rain definitely, but I need to try to go and remember the sounds of my childhood! (If only mashed potatoes made a sound! ;-) )

Vintage Amethyst said...

Oh such a sweet post!
I think the sound I love to remember is coming home from school in the week before the Christmas holidays to see the tree lights on & hearing my Mum listening to old Christmas records (the ones from the 50's & 60's) & signing or humming along, as I came through the door. So lovely.
love
Alison
x

bellaboo said...

Oh,how lovely!...your post has awakened a lot of 'sound' memories.I too loved those childhood car journeys,especially at night driving past Harrods all lit up.One memory that stands out, is of me being all cosily tucked up in bed,with the sound of my parents downstairs chatting quietly and the wonderful feeling of safety and contentment. :o)

Scented Sweetpeas said...

Love this post, lots of sounds and smells and images really do hold lots of lovely memories don't they.

dottycookie said...

Oh yes, they were comfortingly clicky, weren't they? What a lovely post.

For me it's not so much sounds as smells - my mum's bread baking takes me back to being about 5, and probably has a lot to do with why I bake my own.

Lisa said...

Lovely post Kim.
For me the best sound in the world to hear again would be to hear the keys from my dad's key ring which he kept on his belt and they would jingle jangle as he walked. All was well in the world then.
Lisa x

libby said...

Oh so many sights, sounds and smells can whisk me back to being a child....the smell of cooking, rain, the peculiar thud swoosh of water in a twin tub washing machine.....

Cowboys and Custard said...

My definitive choice of sounds from my childhood would have to be.. the sound of geese calling as they flew over our house on their long journey to their autumn migration.. it was such a haunting sound and I would rush out of the house whenever I heard it to try and catch sight of the V formation as it flew by.
I too remember the clunky indicator sounds from my father's Vauxhall Cresta and the music from the Old Spice adverts when they used Carmina Burana.
Sweet memories..

Dot xx

amanda claire said...

I must apologise for playing "catch-up" in one blog comment, but I lost track of new blog posts in the run up to our wedding, so here goes my attempt to catch up properly...

Happy belated Birthday to your daughter, what an exciting age to be!

What a wonderful holiday you must have had at the Mission, it is glorious!

And as for sounds that take me back, I know songs do that to me a lot. I cannot help but feel the anxiety at the pit of my stomach when I listen to Enya's The Celts album as I listened to it a lot when I felt my most lonely and scared when in Russia. I still love the album, but the feeling always crops up when it first plays and I am whisked back. Other songs remind me of times and places too, which is why I would also find it hard to single my desert island disks down to the number allowed! I'm not sure sounds have as big an effect for me, however.

Louise said...

Your post has got me thinking Kim. I guess one of the sounds for me from my childhood was of squealing piglets on the farm! x