Happend to me last weekend when I was coming into my lovely little kitchen which was filled with the unique smell of coffee being prepared on a gas stove.
Whooooooosh, there I went right back to when I was five and we used to spend our holidays at my grandmother's place in Spain. I remembered me coming into the kitchen from the outside dining area and being welcomed by this exact smell every "morning" (at one in the afternoon, say). I didn't know anybody else with a gas stove then and also at home my parents didn't celebrate the ritual of making coffe the way they did in Spain, so this smell belonged to this place.
I remembered the blue and white tiles in the kitchen and the dining area (which later was converted from outside to inside) and how the place smelled of the wooden furniture and something that was probably my granddad's aftershave or something.
I saw my grandmother standing by the little oval kitchen windows which were covered, as most windows are down there, with a decorative iron barring to keep away burglars but which let enough room for the roaming cats to come to my grandmother's kitchen window and get their share of whatever was left over.
I saw us having mussels for dinner and then us kids placing the shells in the garden for the ants to clean them until the next morning.
I saw us fooling around in the pool until our skin would shrivel and our lips turn blue. I remebered the feeling of these orange water wings rubbing against the skin of my face. My grandfather tending the garden. The strange little cellar that wasn't really a cellar because it wasn't underground. My mother's old fashioned bathing suit. The white railing of the veranda. The Mediterranean in the distance. My father teaching me to swim and as a reward: my first very own pair of diving fins.
(This by the way comes pretty close to the real view from the veranda. My granny probably even knows the owner of this one; it must be one of her neighbours.)
The whole of this slide show of emotions and memories happened in the course of maybe the tenth of a second.
When I came to, I saw Mr Meik making a hell of a mess with the coffee which was covering half my kitchen table and the better part of the beer bottles patiently awaiting their being taken to the recycling station.
I looked at the mess and the grinning Meik standing in the middle of it and I thought: "You really should do that more often, baby."