Friday, September 14, 2007

Childhood memory #22

I was in the lift today and their was an odour. No, not that sort of odour. It straight away brought back childhood memories of my father's step mother. She was always kind to us kiddies, even though my mother prevented us seeing 'that drunken slut' too often.

She would buy us endless raspberry drinks at the pub she frequented, I think it was the Boundary Hotel or East Boundary Hotel, probably in the Boundary Road Bentleigh or East Bentleigh. I forget the details. Fill in the blanks if you wish and know Daniel. She would get us some chips or nuts and then duck out of the hotel for a bit and return with some small toy. We thought our Nana Tess was great, even if she was sometimes unwell and we could not understand what she was saying or she fell down a lot.

She had a distinctive smell of old ladies perfume, powder make up, cigarettes and beer. Turf brand cigarettes come to mind. She even had a smoker's side table in her house, complete with matches in the match holder, which was a great attraction to us firebug kiddies.

Today in the lift I smelt almost the same smell, old lady perfume and stale cigarettes. I can guess who it was. She is an older theatrical type women who lives here and came from a well to do family who had retail businesses in the city. She is quite poor, but you would never know to look at her. Perhaps she is not so poor, but her place is modest with a nice view of the building behind us, the wall of it that is. She certainly cries poor.

We are cautious with her as she has asked us down for drinks and asked us for help in some maintenance matter. We have been caught like that before and so say, yes we will come for drinks some time. Sorry, we are not very practical guys with home stuff.


  1. Yeah, I remember that same smell too, from my Nana.

    I loved that smell! I guess because I loved my Nana?

    When she would stay at our place, she slept in my bed and I stayed on the couch.

    I didn't want Mum to wash the sheets when she'd gone, cos I loved to snuggle in to my pillow and that smell :)

    Nan used to smoke in my room as well (and deny she had) - and then spray the Glen20 to try to hide the smell :) I think of Nana when I smell Glen20 too. Lost her to lung cancer only 3 years ago aged 85!

  2. Haven't been in, but I'd assume the Boundary Hotel, corner East Boundary and Centre Rds.

  3. Buying raspberry drinks? My recollection is that they were free ... well in country pubs they used to be.

    (Characteristic order being - "two pots for me and me mate Shagger, a shandy for the missus and raspberry cordials for the kids".)

    The ciggies might have been 'Turf' - then again maybe 'Craven A', 'Ardath' or what I now sparingly provide - 'Senior Service' ... or more likely, 'Havelock Ready Rub'? Where there's a WD & HO Wills there's a way.

    Were we a Catholic (practising or otherwise) that nonsense would have incurred 200 Hail Peter, Paul and Marys and at least a baker's dozen of Paternosters ... and into the bargain have had Highriser unceremoniously struck off Pandora before he got to first base.

  4. Smell is a powerful reminder.

    Why, just yesterday I was cleaning out the cat's box and was instantly transported back to my cousin's house, which was never very clean. I never could figure out what it smelled like; now I know.


  5. Smell of old nana, smoke and Glen 20 Why Not. I like it.

    That's it Daniel. It is still there then. I bet it doesn't have a ladies lounge anymore.

    I forgot that M'lord. The raspberries were free. Not always. I remember my father being incensed once when he was charged for them. Definitely Turf. I had forgotten about Havelock ready rubbed. I never did find out what ready rubbed meant.

    Maybe being Pandored will provoke me to be more extreme and try to get struck orf.

    I think my memory is a bit nicer than yours Daisy Jo.

  6. I hate nasty old lady smell. My nanna smells of a mixture of talcum powder and lavender, and i wish I could bottle it.

  7. You'll be one one day Steph. What will you smell of?

  8. Oh were a fire bug kid too? LOL

  9. Oh yes Cazzie. Post coming up soon.


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