I wonder if the ice cream van still visits the street on which I grew up. The street is like the top bar of the letter T, in that it's a dead-end on each side and accessible by road only via the one junction.
The ice cream van would stop at the point in the street near the junction and, upon hearing it approach sufficiently in advance (I'm quite certain that its speaker would blare out The Blue Danube), we'd pester my mum and dad for some change and then run up to join the queue. I associate such memories with bright sunny days for the most part, I suspect that's the rosy glow of nostalgia as much as anything.
I remember one occasion where it was overcast. I maybe hadn't heard the tones of The Blue Danube (rendered pathologically, almost aggressively cheerful in its conversion to tinny ice cream van speakers), and had perhaps just noticed the van halfway up the street as I looked out the window.
I ran to my mum and persuaded a few coins from her, and dashed out of the house. There was no queue - whether nobody else fancied ice cream on such a day, or whether they'd already been and bought theirs, I wouldn't know - but as I neared, I heard the ice cream man start the engine to embark back down the connecting street.
Surely he's seen me, I thought - I got to him just as he was starting to turn and drive away. I put my hand up to wave - I wanted him to stop because I wanted to buy an ice cream. He waved back, smiled a warm smile, and carried on driving down the road. I was left standing there, disappointed and sans ice cream. I trudged disconsolately back home, I may have even felt my lip trembling a little, and I gave the coins back to my mum.
For whatever reason, I've been toying with whether to write/publish the above post for a long time. I've frequently rejected doing so because it feels mawkishly sentimental, and perhaps also because the memory usually recurs when I'm feeling flat (it may be my earliest clear memory that I associate with the experience of disappointment).