You know, sometimes nostalgia is very nice.
Just when you're kinda in a nothing mood, just drifting along mindlessly, memories of times gone by float up to the surface. These memories can be of the smallest, most insignificant things, but sometimes, they can bring such a smile to your face.
I had one of these moments tonight.
It was triggered by a tin of baked beans...
I guess some explanation is in order, because that's gotta sound pretty strange. You see, right now, cash is in short supply. Things are by no means desperate - I just had to pay a few outstanding bills and the like, so need to tighten my belt for the next week. Which is ok - I simply need to resist temptation until next Friday, and entertain myself in ways that cost nothing. No big deal. So I'm wandering around the supermarket near my place, trying to figure out what food I can buy that will firstly fill me up, and secondly not cost too much. Then I walk past a shelf full of tins of baked beans, and tinned spaghetti. Ahh! You can't go past $1 for a tin of food that's filling, not too bad tasting if you can get past the whole stigma of eating baked beans, and actually fairly nutritious. So I picked up a tin, after marveling at the range available these days - baked beans with tomato and bacon chunks, baked beans with sweet chili, baked beans with barbeque sauce - I guess it's been a while since I've had a good look at the range!
So I'm back home, later in the evening, when hunger strikes (not helped by a friend of mine cooking spring rolls in the oven, which smell pretty good). Beans go in a bowl in the microwave, a couple of slices of bread in the toaster, one slice of bread in reserve for when I've inevitably got left over beans and no toast left on the plate.
Then nostalgia hits with full force.
I'm transported back to the year 1987. Living with my family - mum, dad, brother and sister. And it's Sunday night there, just like it is here now. The main difference is that back then, it's the middle of winter, whereas here I'm sweating in the heat of summer. And I feel as though I'm 12 years old again, as my family enjoys a relaxed Sunday night meal - one of the few that were ever taken in front of the television. Sunday nights were different - the Rugby League match of the round was shown then. My dad gave to me the love of that game, sitting on the couch on those nights as he's explain the things I didn't understand. We had a slow combustion fire in that lounge room - I can remember our cat, Soxy, who used to stretch out on the carpet in front of it, soaking up so much heat that you were worried about burning yourself if you touched him. Mum, heating up a big pot of the beans, dad usually helping by getting a mountain of toast ready and buttered. Eventually it'd all be ready, and we'd all go off with a steaming plate of food, sit in front of the box, and watch together. I guess there wasn't all that much talking at that time, but it didn't matter at all. We were all together, enjoying the simplest meal you could slap together.
We were a family, doing the most mundane of family things.
Tonight, I sat down to a plate of baked beans on buttered toast, and I enjoyed every last mouthful. It's been close to ten years since I lived with my family, but tonight, in some small way, it felt like I was back in that lounge room, listening to dad's disbelief and frustration at a stupid refereeing decision. Lying on the couch in my pyjamas, waiting for Soxy to come up and find a lap, purring all the while.
I think I'll buy another tin soon.