There was a familiar scent in the air……. and Harry stopped to take it in. He sniffed, and raised a dampened finger, trying to determine the direction it was coming from.
The soft breeze – just a whisper, really, – was coming from the other side of the narrow street. Harry wondered if it was coming from the house with the open door.
His morning walk had taken him into an older part of the town, away from the ‘better’ parts – the streets with views, or river frontages. The houses here were old, narrow, and often unpainted, workmen’s cottages. They reminded him so much of another city’s poorer quarter, almost 70 years ago.
So did the smell. It came again, in a complex weave. He tried to tease apart its components, and, in his mind, was back there, by the kitchen door, watching and hoping for some titbit. His grandmother, the shortest person in the room, seemed the largest, as she directed the activities of his mother and all his aunts.
The things that came out of that kitchen were marvellous, and the scents drifting past his nose were calling him back there – the roasting meat, the cooking onions, the warm aroma of bread and pastry that had been set out to cool, and, there, he had it at last, the mystery components – pumpkin pie, nutmeg, and cooked apples.
A car stopped in front of the house. Two adults, uttering warnings about good behaviour, ushered four children from the car towards the house. There was shouting and laughter as they ran for the front gate. The last child, a skinny, tousle-haired boy, looked across at Harry, and smiled – and Harry felt young again.