It reminded me of my Dad, and yes, I do think about him when I hear a whistle. Dad was a quiet fellow, but he used to whistle when he arrived home from work when wheeling his bicycle down beside the house; he whistled when he was working in the shed and also when he was nervous – that was a different kind of whistle, usually a made up tune – or it may have been a tune I did not know.
He used to whistle “Home sweet home” when he arrived home, and “Whistle while you work” when pottering around the house and in the shed. I did not know how much I missed him and his whistling, till I travelled to England in 2016, was thrilled to hear my second brother, Les and his son Adam, also whistling like Dad used to.
The other thing that triggers my memory is the smell of cigar smoke. I think of my mother’s father, Grandpa McIntosh when I smell the cigar smoke. Grandpa and my mother were not the best of friends, and he never played a large part in my life, but I remember sitting with him on the porch whilst he smoked his cigar. If I was in trouble or upset he used to take me out on the porch of the terraced home that he lived in, light up a cigar and I would sit on his knee and tell him my troubles and how I felt ‘hard done by’ even if I was the cause of the upset. I remember him quietly talking to me, with the smell of cigar smoke in the background. Then we would go to the park where he would light up another cigar watching, whilst I played on the equipment, then he would buy me an ice cream on the way home. I always felt calm and happy by the time we got home.
I started to notice when I was growing up and things were difficult at times, I would smell cigar smoke and feel some sense of warmth and comfort. Sometimes there was nobody else around or smoking a cigar if there were a group of people – there was just the smell of cigar smoke.
I have had other ‘Triggers’ in my life over the years, but these I remember fondly, with a sense of calm when the above ‘Triggers’ occur.