Memory's a funny old blighter. It can creep up on you unexpectedly and completely take over, prompted by the smallest of combinations. I was walking along the street yesterday* when I hear a snippet of a song combined with the sunshine streaming down upon and suddenly I'm transported back five years ago.
I'm sat in field along with many, many, many other people. Not too far away, a massive stage has a suddenly very small looking band giving it their all. The ground was a muddy lake not too long ago but, thanks to the addition of many tons of straw and a couple of days of sunshine, it has dried enough to be able to sit on. I'm wearing a T-shirt and shorts. Perched atop my baldy bonce is a traditional festival-style straw hat. My feet are clad in a pair of Caterpillar boots wrapped round with black bin bags as I wasn't prepared enough to bring wellies to cope with the many muddy quagmire that still litter the site. My right foot hurts a little as i stepped on a thorn two days ago and have been unable to remove it (it's protected by a plaster for now - the thorn will be successfully removed in another day and, by some miracle, there is absolutely no infection despite the fact that it's been kept in conditions ripe for trenchfoot). My clothes are gently encrusted in drying mud as there's no avoiding it so it's not worth getting precious about.
I can feel the sun on my face, gently warming it as I tilt my head towards it and push my hat back on my head. I can smell the mixture of hay and mud baking gently in the sun combined with various foods and drinks.
Five years in the future, I smile at this sudden vivid attack of the past on my present. The woman next to me at the bus stop gives me a funny look. But it doesn't matter because I'm long ago and far away...
* Not an unusual occurrence in itself, I tend to walk along streets to get me from one destination to another - I'm a bluff old traditionalist like that.