“I’m queen of my own compost heap, and I’m getting used to the smell”

Why is it that we only have the desire to cough when everything is *ssshhh* oh-so quiet? 

I was thinking about smells last night on the bus.  Or was it this morning?  Ack, who cares.  So anyway, I was thinking about smells.  This came about because I was sitting next to a man at the bus station [ah, it was last night] who was smoking a stinky cigar.  It’s quite a nice stink.  Then someone else was smoking a cigarette and it was also stinky.  Again, it was quite a nice stink – I’m not one of those ex- [eighteen months!] smokers who gabbles on about how disgusting it is.  I’ll actually breathe the smell in and savour it.  I have no choice in the matter usually because we let the students at work smoke at break and lunch times, and if one is on duty outside they will do the oh-so funny thing of blowing it in your face. 

Last night it just brought back memories, moments that had been forgotten and live in some lonely corner of my cluttered mind just waiting to be fondly remembered.  I have a fondness for smells …

Any type of smoke will remind me of my Uncle Brian.  It will take me back to my childhood and the days following the departure of The Father when Uncle Brian [TF’s older half-brother] would come round and hang his coat on the stair bannister, and I would stand there and soak up the smell of the pipes [or was it just cigarettes?] he smoked.  He would hide tubes of Smarties in his pockets and send us into the hall to delve deeply and find them.  It was only years later that Mumsy told me he was probably trying to get into her pants. 


Brewery smells remind me of my Uncle Brian too.  He used to live in Gip near the smelly Maltings and I still can’t stand that smell to this day.

The smell of dope makes me think of vomit [and Bacardi, long story].  And the smell of vomit makes me remember all those times when I was little and refused to open my mouth when I was sick. 

Petrol makes me gag, but the smell of summer rain is magical.

Minted peas make me think of my maternal nana, and orange squash brings back the giggles I had with my other nana, the one with the long garden.  Martini?  My Auntie Terri.  New shoes?  Getting the sack aged sixteen.  Chlorine? Barry, who was SO old.  Perfumed sweets? Nancy [the town], in France. 

I like the smell of manure and sweaty feet, Chanel [No. 5] and baby talc, vodka and brie, The Blokey and my Tabatha-Cat, new books and packages that arrive in the post.

But more than anything I love the smell of my mum.  She smells of warmth and love, protection and security, hope and dreams …

[and i really ought to tell her of my wedding plans]

And right now I can smell yet-to-be-opened chocolate cake …

We have a dilemma.  Do we have a Harry weekend [what with going to see HPIV next week], a Batman weekend [so I can drool over Christian and Cillian (but not Michael K)], or a Star Wars weekend [so The Blokey can just drool]?  Oh, bugger the people who buy DVDs for birthdays …

please God bless smells xxx Elsabeth


  1. Just wear blindfolds and play “guess the smell”… They say that smell is the sense most connected to the nose.On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with good old fashioned Monopoly.Lewis.

  2. Ps. I won’t make it a secret that I detest the act of liking Harry Potter (but not the likers of Harry Potter, note).Why can’t people talk about Peep Show, or Lost (huh), or Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, or…Lewis, Channel Four fan, obviously.

  3. I don’t mind cigarette smoke smell, even though I’ve never smoked (well, apart from one abortive day aged 16). Also, you’ve added weight to our theory that everyone has an Uncle Brian. I hope the chocolate cake was nice

  4. oo harry hands down!
    ohh i savor the smell of a smoke…I long to have one..its been almost 3 years since Ive had one..the only time I dont like the smell is when Ive been out and I crawl into bed and hte stale smell in the AM on my pillow..yuck!
    right now..all I smell is alcohol…from my breath..and hoping Im typing this all well LOL

  5. I love being able to smell stuff, and hate it when I’ve got a cold and can’t It’s definitely a Harry weekend, no doubt…Cigar smoke is lovely, but cigarette smoke… definitely not…

  6. Another vote for the Harry Weekend. Strange how smells can be so strongly associated with memories, places or people, but then I guess it’s the same for songs, or tastes.

  7. I vote for Harry!
    I like smells too but no cigarette or cigar smoke.  I was never a smoker and plus I have asthma so being around it tends to make me cease to breathe…. Not a very fun thing.  But, I have to agree with you about the smell of rain.  I adore the smell of rain, the smell of impending rain, the smell of departed rain…
    ryc: Well, I had to keep my end of the bargain even if he was very rude about it.

  8. My mom yells at me because I always talk about the things I smell. “Sarah, why don’t you turn the energy you use for smelling things into brain power?”
    But life is smelly, and life is everywhere.

  9. I love the smell of a pipe, and cigar………….and the scent of a woman…………Lt. Col. Frank Slade: Women! What can you say? Who made ’em? God must have been a fuckin’ genius. The hair… They say the hair is everything, you know. Have you ever buried your nose in a mountain of curls… just wanted to go to sleep forever? Or lips… and when they touched, yours were like… that first swallow of wine… after you just crossed the desert. Tits. Hoo-ah! Big ones, little ones, nipples staring right out at ya, like secret searchlights. Mmm. Legs. I don’t care if they’re Greek columns… or secondhand Steinways. What’s between ’em… passport to heaven. I need a drink. Yes, Mr Sims, there’s only two syllables in this whole wide world worth hearing: pussy. Hah! Are you listenin’ to me, son? I’m givin’ ya pearls here

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