The Ghost Teaspoon

About twenty years ago I shared a house with a couple of friends (and a few mice). One of the girls there was called Leslie-Anne and she isn’t aware of this but she planted a seed in my dim skull that have taken root and is now firmly established in my noggin.  It happened one evening when I was washing up the dishes from dinner, I had finished the washing up and ran my hands around the kitchen sink to check if I had missed anything and not finding anything I pulled out the plug. As the water emptied I tutted at finding a small teaspoon which was lying in the bottom of the sink. Leslie-Anne was drying the dishes beside me and said “isn’t it strange, that no matter how many times you check the sink before letting the dishwater out, there’s always a small spoon at the bottom that you’ve missed, it’s the ghost teaspoon..” and I smiled and thought nothing of it.

BUT here’s the thing. Twenty years later and last night I was washing the dishes from supper and I let the water out and lo and behold there was a friggin ghost spoon sitting in the sink and immediately my mind goes back to Leslie-Anne telling me about that spoon twenty years ago. And EVERY SINGLE TIME I find a spoon in the bottom of the sink I immediately think of Leslie-Anne and I know in another twenty years I will still think of her when I find the ghost spoon. I will have forgotten about a lot of folk that will have crossed my path by then but I will always remember Leslie-Anne. I think it’s interesting in who we remember and for what reasons,  I bet Leslie-Anne has completely forgotten about me but little does she know how many times I’ve thought about her in the last twenty years and grinned standing at the kitchen sink. I probably ought to get a dishwasher – and wash wash wash that woman right out’a ma head.

Memory is a strange sense; some things can instantly transport me back to my childhood. The other day I was walking past a house in Tooting and there was an elderly man mowing his lawn with an electric lawnmower. The smell of cut grass instantly transported me back to my childhood in Ireland. There was a large field outside our row of houses and the council would come along every blue moon with a tractor and cut the grass. This left huge clumps of cut grass sitting in the field so all the kids in the street would gather the grass up and make little forts with piles of grass cuttings. Then we’d be the cowboys or the Indians and attacked the other children’s forts and try to kick over their grass walls and throw clumps of grass at each other.

Generally by the time the light faded you could be sure that everyones clothes would be covered in grass marks and so too our knees and elbows and we’d have to quietly creep back indoors and sneak our grass stained clothes into the laundry basket… Aye, those were the days…fantastic..

PS tonight, when you find a ghost teaspoon in the bottom of the sink, who will you think of? 😉

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