I remember

I remember the aroma of chestnuts in Paris in the 70s
I remember the aroma of chestnuts in Istanbul in the 90s
I remember the chestnut vendor in Pera
I remember my excellent photographs of places and faces

I remember the sumptuous high tea at the Pera Palace
I remember the loving American elderly couple I met there
I remember their delightful love story
I remember they lived in Mexico by The Ajijic lake

I remember being by that lake in 1976
I remember being ill the day after In Guadalajara
I remember having a naked medical body rub with alcohol
I remember being thrown out of the house
I remember learning at a Mexican village fountain my cellar in London had been flooded
I remember my insurance claim 6 months later

I remember Sesame my beautiful tabby cat
I remember a letter from Mrs Ho telling me she had given Sesame away

I remember journeys to work on the 159 bus
I remember my job at St Giles as an English language teacher

I remember I followed my dream to travel
America and Mexico led me to Paris in 1977
I remember the smell of roast chestnuts
I remember the association with Paris forever

Long live the crackling smell of roast chestnuts!

Written in Erinna Mettler’s Hachery workshop, Hove in March 2019.