A sensory symphony

Sound,taste,sight and smell are, for me, a constant reminder of times gone past. Memories are instantly triggered – some good, some bad but all with their accompanying emotional ties.

My DH and I have been together for more than two decades but I can remember our first “date” like it was yesterday. There is an annual House & Garden show in our area previewing all that is new and innovative on the domestic front and that’s where we went – unusual I suppose, but every time I see those billboards go up I remember the butterflies in my stomach & the immense fun that we had. I had a flat in the city when we met and he used to write me little notes and slip them under my door if he was passing by – I still have them in my purse,the paper is flimsy after all this time and the writing is faded but they still make me smile.

Vanilla has always been my favorite fragrance, whether in candles, body products or the utterly delectable room sprays which give you an instant lift with just one spritz. I think my vanilla love affair started when I was a little girl making fudge with my mum. Back in the day we used to make it the old fashioned way, hours and hours of stirring on the stove top while the vanilla scent permeated the house. The rhythm of the process was quite enchanting and we would laugh and share stories and end up with the best sugary treats. My mum also taught me about banana on toast. You may laugh, but toast up a piece of nutty wholewheat and cover it with sweet fruity banana slices and you will know deliciousness on your plate.

My dad would probably want to claim ownership for my love of music. He comes from a musical family and when they were young and living in a small railway town out in the bundus you made your own entertainment. Saturday night was an eclectic mish mash of music (provided by my dad & his siblings), a barn dance of sorts with the rest of the district and a mountain of food courtesy off the moms. The radio was always on at home when I was young & it used to be housed in a really ugly box contraption along with the record player. To be allowed to go through my parents record collection & put something on the turntable was quite the thing and I suspect this was where I learnt to sing along to the Beatles, Elvis and Trini Lopez. I have zero music skills but a lifetime of musical memories.

“The fragrance of white tea is the feeling of existing in the mists that float over waters; the scent of peony is the scent of the absence of negativity: a lack of confusion, doubt, and darkness; to smell a rose is to teach your soul to skip; a nut and a wood together is a walk over fallen Autumn leaves; the touch of jasmine is a night’s dream under the nomad’s moon.” – C. JoyBell C.

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Thursday adieu

“My friend, so if we’d been together yesterday perhaps we would have had a milkshake at lunchtime. Next to the train station would have been nice, in that shady spot in the corner under one of those puce umbrella’s – we would have needed its paltry protection against an African sun in full cry.

You would have been adventurous and tried an exotic concoction, I would have had lime – my all time favourite. Maybe we would have chatted about your new man and your crazy career, maybe we would have talked movies and books – I would have said that I’m going to buy a kindle, you would have said “oh good, eventually – you adore books, make it easy”.

Decadent, creamy, deliciousness still comes in those old-fashioned parlour glasses and we would have chuckled while spooning out the last drop, imagining being back in the ‘50’s with bee-hive hair, poodle skirts and bobby socks.

(image courtesy of coffeemanuk.co.uk)

Maybe you would have noticed that I wasn’t my usual gabby self, you would have taken my hand and said “what’s wrong, how can I help”. I might have told you that I’m really tired, in my head that is. I would have said that it feels like the world is sitting on my shoulders, how I’m really battling to be everything for everybody, to be the person that everyone relies on for support and comfort, to maintain a happy face when all I want to do is just be quiet. You would have hugged me and said “my friend, I’m here for you – whenever you need to talk, or rant, or cry – I’ll be there”.

I would have smiled at you, taken your caring and tucked it away, like a ray of sunlight for when the clouds are really heavy and dark.

That’s what I would have done, if you’d spent Thursday with me.”

Are you a chucker or a keeper?

In the literal sense that is. Is your space filled with stuff, are you a minimalist or are you somewhere in the middle? Honestly, I used to be a hoarder of epidemic proportions – i kept everything! One fine Saturday morning (and it wasn’t even spring), DH was out of the country on business when the bug bit and I started to “chuck out”. In fact if it wasn’t nailed down and hadn’t seen the light of day in the past 2 years it was gone to greener pastures (SPCA, orphanages, old age homes etc).

I created a “memories” box that is full of those things that are sentimental to me – nothing fancy, in fact an old shoe box that used to be home to the most comfy pair of boots i have ever owned (long deceased sadly). Our home is full of photographs but I’ve managed to convince myself that they dont count as junk and are more of a decorative accessory. The only two things that don’t fit in the box are a black and white panda that my pop bought the day i was born 40 something years ago and a knitted blanket that my mom and I made together when I was a teenager – they live together on a stool in the corner of our bedroom and literally give me warm and fuzzy feelings everytime they catch my eye 🙂

The head doctors would probably wax lyrical about the fact that hoarding is a sign that you are trying to make up for some other shortfall in your life and minimalism reflects your disconnectedness (is there such a word) from life and emotional bonds. A lot of phooey I reckon – I can proudly hold my hand up as a recovering hoarder and being a non-minimalist as such am very happy to say that middle of the road is a lot more fun and far less to dust!

Memoirs in six words

Courtesy of gospelwriter’s blog: http://turtlememoir.wordpress.com/2010/08/25/six-word-memoir/

1. Best advice – Trust your heart, not your head.

2. Milestone birthday – A damp squib, overrated and costly.

3. Holiday traditions – To make new memories, every year.

4. Memorable meal – Two hearts, one plate, together forever.

5. Siblings – Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

6. Cheating death – Going left was a good choice.

7. Trip that changed life – Living in a tent is testing.

8. What a child taught me – Hope dawns eternal, no matter what.

8a. Most beautiful words of a child – You heard me, my opinion mattered

9. Revenge is sweet – She got him, best of luck.

10. Worst mistake – He said I deserved better, duh!

When I was young ………

There was Springbok Radio,

Cheese on toast,

Men from the Ministry and Squad Cars,

Sunday evenings lying on a blanket looking at the stars,

There was Saturday morning movies – slush puppies and slurpies.

Television test pattern at 12am,

Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys,

We rode our bikes without a thought,

Played on the street – toktokkie was a blast,

When I was young.