I bought this lovely boxed set of Sheffield stainless steel butter knives on Sunday. A lovely wee treat to myself I thought. I was not prepared for the tidal wave of memories they would bring in the morning.
They bring back my Nana to me.
There she is in the kitchen, leaning on the counter top, drinking milky well brewed tea (there was always a pot on the stove, keeping warm, stewing).
There I am, at the breakfast table. I can see the formica table top, the perfect colour of green larder. The butter dish and a knife so like this one. Robertson's Marmalade. The shiny silver teapot, with a wooden handle. Floral china cups. Sweet tea for me. Broadford, floury, breakfast rolls and the smell of bacon.
I even hear the wind, whistling round this Skye house, years gone. I catch a glimpse of Queenie or Mitch (the sheep dogs), watch the bracken being blown flat, under a mountain that has a Viking Princess buried at its summit. I hear the crunch of white Skye marble gravel, as the post lady pops in.
As I make a piece and jam for my little girl, I am once more a little girl myself and in this moment I miss Nana terribly. I remember the nights she would bring us piece and jam (my sister and I lying feet to feet in a squashy feather mattress bed, with the blankets tucked in so tight you could barely breath, feeling so secure and warm. A hot water bottle.) with instructions to clean our teeth and say our prayers. She would sit with us while we repeated the 'Child's Prayer'....(the more harrowing version!)
I wish so much this morning, that she could be with me now. I think she would 'like' me so much more. My tough teenage edges rubbed down (a little), our common experience of home, children, food and china! I would love to tell her how much she has influenced my tastes, my home, my food. I hope somewhere, she knows this anyway.
When someone passes on, it seems to me, that although the grieving never truly ends, its like they are always with you, and they pop round. I suppose the trick is to take comfort in those moments and enjoy their presence with you.