I love the smell of it. You just have to breathe it in, slowly and surely. No deep inhaling or sniffing. Jut steadily fill your lungs with that smell of grass as it bypasses your nostrils.
You might be thinking that I'm sat in an Amsterdam coffeeshop with the latest offering from under the counter by a dreadlocked bartender, that was grown on the roof top terrace above,and a packet of Rizlas. But I'm not. I'm not even sat infront of the TV, Lloyd/Brad Pitt in True Romance-style with a 'plastic bottle contraption'. Instead this week I walked through the park and smelt the grass there - the lawn stuff. It had just been cut and the perfume was in the air. That's when I knew Spring had arrived.
It doesn't matter where I am in the world, but once that grass has been mowed and the perfume fills the air it takes me back to being a kid. I grew up in a semi-detached hoouse in a quiet street where we shared the front lawn with our next-door neighbours. The Old Dears my Dad used to call them. Geoff, Jean and Flo. My uncle and my aunties. Not family ones, but they as close as any blood connection. Uncle Geoff and Auntie Flo have passed away but Auntie Jean still thrives - she has three figures in her.
Then there was another old woman who lived next door the other way. I could never make her out; a bit grumpy but with a funny flip at times. Really, I mean it, funny as in make you laugh in between her grumbles and her dagger looks at you with her beady eye. She was a strange one and she was called Jean too. But she wasn't my Auntie Jean. There is only one auntie Jean.
Anyway, when out lawnmower saw its last days, my dad would then always borrow Jean's lawnmower. to mow our front and back lawn. So out of courtesy he did hers too, and seeing as out gardens joined, the Old Dears' was done too. And my dad always did this on a sunny evening in Spring after dinner when the day started to stretch out longer, while my mum would don the gardening glove and and prune the bushes and flowerbeds. Me and my middle brother would most probably be playing something or even helping tip the freshly cut hash of grass in to customary bin bags.
Of those sunny evenings I can't remember more than that. But I will never forget the smell.
You see joggers on their daily journeys in the park, some trying to lose weight. Instead I lost nearly thirty years walking through that park this week, the smell taking me back, that exact same smell as our freshly and neatly mowed lawns throughout every summer. People can put weight back on but I can't put those days back. I can at least trap them and store them, letting the smell feed my mind like a pet food to them. I could have just told you I like the smell of grass, like other people might like a perfume that pulls you in to their partner's neck or a food that wafts through a kitchen and lures you to the dining table. But it has always been more than that.