It was a balmy Sunday afternoon, the kind where you’ve finished the jobs that need doing, there’s sport on tv in the background and the outcome is an inevitable dozing off on the couch while the kids do who knows what. Perfect right?
Into this nirvana came the distant, but distinct sounds of the Mr Whippy van. I’m guessing Mr Whippy and its unmistakable melody is a thing in the rest of the world too, but in Australia it’s akin to the pied piper – an ice cream van serving soft serves cruising suburban streets and calling to anybody within earshot. Kids come running. Parents too…even if they’re being dragged.
Those tones echoed up the street, cut through my dazed state and immediately had me reminiscing about my childhood in the southern Townsville suburb of Wulguru. That same tinny Greensleeves tune some 40 years earlier was a well known calling card. The connection on this summer day was instant and even as I remembered Kelvin St, Wulguru, the song called me to my modern day footpath where I flagged down Mr Whippy and ordered a soft-serve (with embedded Kit Kat of course!). Bliss.
There’s something extraordinary about the human brain and it’s capacity to make those kinds of connections over a sound, a smell or a taste. Just a few bars blaring from the ice cream van’s over-worked speaker and I’m transported 40 years in time and 1500km in distance.Continue reading