The other day, a rare for this year sunny day, we took Clever girl for one of our longer weekend walks around the neighbourhood.

There was a beautiful blue sky, and the temperature was warm, but not too warm, with just a lazy wind. And the smell of woodsmoke.

These days, on a summer’s day, we’d be more inclined to call the Country Fire Authority, except there’s only been about three sunny days this season, the rest of them rainy.

So, it was the kind of day when families are out playing in the garden. The kids are running through the sprinklers or down the slippery slides. The menfolk are tending their barbecues, the women folk making salad, applying sunscreen to screaming children and picking out the odd weed from the garden. Beer, wine and fizzy sugary drinks all round.

In modern times, when bushfire risks are more apparent, the barbecues are more likley to be gas. But when I was a child, more likely to be half a forty gallon drum resting on a cradle with a stainless steel grill or plate slung over the top.

So when I smell woodsmoke in summer, my first memory is always my father wearing shorts with long socks and sandals, and a short sleeved collared shirt with a tie, huffing and puffing to get the fire going. His mates stood (simialrly dressed) in a loose semi-circle around the barbecue with beers in hand offering him advice.

We kids of course ran amok without the benefit of sprinklers or slippery slides, though we had a portable above ground pool.

I wonder do most of us have a similar childhood memory?

The Smell of Woodsmoke
Photo by Emerson Vieira via unsplash

At least I haven’t yet had to do my Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve.

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