How sad that this brave, new techno-world is so short of smells. My childhood was defined by smells. All I seem to smell nowadays is a warm hard drive, the sickly vapour from an e-cigarette and various overpowering deodorants.
My olfactory day as a child began with my father's shaving soap, toast and dripping and damp coal spitting to life in the grate in our freezing lounge.
In church on a Sunday the ladies' coats would reek of mothballs and the men's of Capstan, Park Drive or Senior Service, laced with Old Spice aftershave.
How comforting that we're so much wiser now! No more cigarettes or pipes, no more fatty dripping. Life is cleaner, you might even say sterile, and we are so much healthier - aren't we? No more the smell of the dolly tub on a Monday morning or Brylcreme from the barber's with its striped pole or the fug from the greasy chippy, wafted by its rattling extractor fan out into the chilly evening.
No more the jaundiced smog which left you lost even outside your own front door, the smog smelling of fireplaces and blackened chimneys in dank silence. Now the air is cleaner and fresher but how many more mouths are breathing it? Fuels burn cleaner but how many more vehicles are burning it? Trucks churn no black smoke but how many more trucks are there that burn so clean?
No more the aroma of kaolin poultice in the sick child's bedroom, the windows running with condensation, Eagle comics scattered on the bare lino floor by the half full potty.
Our sinks were rough with the white residue of Vim, our furniture fragrant with orange Mansion Polish, a nice vase of plastic flowers on top of the television cabinet giving no perfume at all.
Railway stations smelt of steam and smuts, cinemas of Dettol, school toilets of red carbolic soap, pretty girls of pink Camay, school canteens of dark green cabbage and gravy, wirelesses of hot valves.
It was a world of coal, fat, smoke and steam, gritty vegetables fresh out of the garden, oily rag for the bike and thick breakfast porridge bubbling like Vesuvius. We were dirtier and skinnier, not as well dressed or as self-assured but our world was a world to remember for ever.