My memories of August are;
Sensory…………Real………..I can feel, see, hear, taste, smell them. They bring the past to life, bring me back to a time of smiles, and laughter, and love: to holidays surrounded by family and friends long since gone, but never forgotten.
Constant warmth, day and night, the feel of it, the smell of it, the way it seared, the way it clawed down to the bone. The smell of calamine, it’s pink tackiness turning to a light blush chalk. The clawing sheets like sandpaper against raw, burnt skin.
The smell of the sea, the salty inhalation, the freshness that it left, the aftertaste at the back of the throat.
The glare of the sun, the brightness of the reflections of sparkling light on water, the dancing of the sun across a static blue sky.
Sand, cutting, irritating, or ingrained on sticky, gooey sun-screened legs, yuck. Sand, superficially hot, cool and moist deep down where feet buried themselves, little toes digging in, curling back, scraping and twisting.
The harsh hardness of a slapping wave against bare skin; the saline choking from swallowing the sea. The laughs and screams piercing the air. The rush. The struggle against the tide. The trickling of sea water down the legs walking back up to the rug and the towels and the feeling of elated exhaustion, just for a while, the power of the water overcoming limbs that were still growing, not yet matured.
The green lushness of the lawn, trimmed and manicured, dark, glossy emerald grass, the scent getting deeper and sweeter as the night draws in and the dew falls.
The crunch of the gravel leading from the gate to the door.
The vermillion painted woodwork, the creamy pillars, the cool mint coloured bedrooms, the inviting magnolia of the sunlit lounge.
Purple, blue, pink and white Hydrangea. Brilliant Montebretia and Fuschia, dangling and waving and humming with bees, alive with vivid colour and releasing the sweetest scents.
The stillness of the golden lagoon in the early evening, the call of the curlew, the chatter of the gulls and herons.
The end of day rumble of the tractors, moving away up to the top field, and later, the squawk of the corncrake. calling for a mate.
Oilcloth and vegetable soup and Farola, a wooden dresser and a Belfast sink, with those funny rubber covers on the taps. Old smells, familiar smells, faded into the then.
Cigarette smoke, cigarette ash, Silk Cut red and Foxes Mints.
Talcum powder and twinkling blue eyes and thick wavy grey hair. A laugh that’d put a foghorn to shame and a temper that flared hotter than flame. But alive. Always alive. Always doing and talking and cleaning and laughing and being.
Nana – a sound never used anymore. Never said, never uttered except in remembrance, story telling.
Our summer holidays, August, every year. Happiness and Love.