Last week Mister E and I stayed in Nottingham. I was at university there in the 1970's and there is now a comfortable and modern hotel on the campus itself which we have used on a number of occasions. The eldest is a postgraduate student there and we timed our visit to help him move house.
I know it's well established science that fragrances can evoke memories and that humans can actually distinguish between millions of different smells. Indeed and for many years I always bought a bottle of perfume at the duty free shop on my way to a holiday destination and as a result associate certain scents with specific places decades later.
However, a trip down memory lane on the university campus always catches me unaware. Familiar places have frequently altered to the sight but there is a distinct odour that I can only attribute to weather and vegetation. It immediately stimulates olfaction and the nostalgia and sense of times past come tumbling back.
Of course, why spend retirement revisiting old haunts when there is only a limited time to fit in so many places that I haven't seen? I guess it's because some places fit like an old comfortable pair of slippers, and that feels good.