In this short story, the setting—a typical Australian country town—appeared before the characters materialised.
Throughout my childhood, each year we travelled to NSW’s Murrumbidgee Irrigation area to stay with my grandmother. Country towns are familiar to me. I remember the train (and invariably we travelled by train) lurching past these settlements, with their wheat silos, their Station Hotels and their row (it was usually just one row) of shops.
When I drove through the MIA recently, some towns were thriving. Others have become ghost towns. Recent travels throughout Victoria, Queensland and South Australia revealed similar pockets of almost deserted settlements.
The town where my grandmother lived, though, is doing well. Despite losing various small industries over recent years, new businesses have emerged to replace them, and upmarket restaurants are a feature of the main street.
When I walked past Ma’s old house, it looked smaller than I remembered—little more than a cottage. I guess when you’re a child, everything seems larger than it really is.
A little while ago I saw a TV program about the senses. Smell, it turns out, can be a great aid to memory. Certainly, I’ve only to catch a whiff of a certain bath soap, or smell alyssum after rain, and I’m transported back to my grandmother’s house, albeit a larger version of it!
Are there particular scents that take you back to another time and place?
Of course, not all scents are welcome. Recently I attended the annual Romance Writers of Australia conference. It’s strictly a no-go zone as far as wearing perfume is concerned. I’m glad of it! Imagine several hundred people—mostly women—in a confined space, each wearing liberal doses of scent. You get the picture: Headache City!
Peridot Eyes is available for FREE by clicking this link https://www.bronwynhouldsworth.com/books
followed by the cover of the book. Enjoy.