If the Lights Grow Dim

Little Brown Dog (and, by the way, if you haven’t read her blogs you are missing a treat) has asked me to reveal the twelve scents and sounds which would still reach me when everything else has failed. They are:

1. Freshly sawn wood. Forever associated with my dad who was a carpenter. If this doesn’t revive me than at least I’ll know Dad’s waiting to show me the way.

2. Talisker. Peat, wood smoke, phenols and memories of a golden October holiday with Tom, Lily and Rose. A few drops of this wee dram wafted under my nose and I’d be a happy woman.

3. Rose and Lily making each other laugh.

4. The warm, clean smell of my husband when he gives me a hug.

5. My mum saying the prayer she used to recite to us before we went to sleep. Not for religious reasons but as a talisman against fear.

6. Crushed basil leaves. We always have a pot by the kitchen window.

7. The smell of autumn mornings – the dying of the year and new terms and new beginnings.

8. John Martyn singing ‘One World’.

9. Putty. That linseedy smell takes me back to when I was little and I ‘helped’ dad who gave me little chunks of putty to warm up in my hands when he was glazing windows.

10. The smell of a brand new, pristine, glossy magazine and the crisp crack of the pages breaking open. Shallow? Moi?

11. Rain on the coach roof of Veryan, our old wooden boat, and feeling snug and secure in the cabin below. A nostalgic memory now as we’ve just sold her.

12. Someone whispering in my ear, ‘Chris! Your book's number one in the best seller list.’ That ought to do it!

Okay. You know who you are. If you haven’t done this exercise yet, stop hiding at the back and do it.

The photograph is of Mwnt, our nearest beach.


Crystal Jigsaw said…
An interesting list, Chris.

"4. The warm, clean smell of my husband when he gives me a hug." made me laugh because when my husband gives me a hug it's usually the smell of sheep poo that wafts my way!

Number 12 is definitely a good one - I do hope you hear that one day. And I wouldn't mind hearing it myself!

Crystal xx
Fennie said…
Oh yes the smell of linseed oil putty and linseed oil in general.
Glad to see the rewrite is coming on.
What a great list Chris. I do hope you hear about that number one book one day...

warm wishes
beautifl (ha ha sold the boat!!!does this mean he is going to buy a new one!!)
Suffolkmum said…
Lovely Chris. All of them so evocative - and the smell of Talisker reminds me of my husband (which makes him sound terrible, doesn't it, like some old alcoholic, but he does love Talisker and I hate the taste but love the smell!) Haven't got round to mine yet - will do them later, last as ever.
Blossomcottage said…
What a lovely list, I am a bit like Crystal Jigsaw Hubby hug is sometimes better than smelling salts depends on where his hands were last on a horse! I love the putty I too think it is a great smell.
LittleBrownDog said…
Hi Chris, and thank you for your kind words - you're a darling! Loved your list and all its fascinating associations. And here's to hearing about number 12 in the not-too-distant (I'll be putting a pre-order in with Amazon for one).
Pondside said…
Off to buy some Talisker, as I have no idea of what it smells or tastes like.
I hope you hear that whisper in your ear soon, too. I want to be the first one on this continent to buy your novel!
liz fenwick said…
What a fabulous list Chris. Thanks.
Lovely list . . number 12 . . . could be just around the corner - always good to reach for the stars . .
vic said…
Beautiful photo. I love a good whisky too I must admit. Highland Park is one of my favourites.
LittleBrownDog said…
Oh, no - I'd completely forgotten about Nigella tonight and I've arranged to go out leaving H home alone with her of the ample bosom and cholesterol-covered fingers. Bad mistake! Loud grimaces all round!
Preseli Mags said…
Lovely list - roll on number 12! I think all of our orders might just help a bit with that one!
Frances said…
Hello Chris,
Your list was full of sensations that I would share with you. Some I cannot share without children, but I do completely agree with all of your twelve.

My dad used to make lovely furniture as a hobby, using hand tools exclusively, so what you wrote about sawdust definitely took me to a lot of memories. Thank you.

sally's chateau said…
Lovely unusual list but am now thinking very hard about what smell I associate with my Father. Hope someone whispers those magical words in your ears too Chris.
Flowerpot said…
yes - putty definitely! And best of luck with the book. Sorry to hear about Veryan - my husband is still mourning the loss of our old working boat, 6 years on...
Flowerpot said…
thanks for support Chris - means a lot.
Lane said…
Great list.
I think many of us would echo you with no 12:))
And basil....mmmmmmm
Interesting List Chris, the number 12 hopefully will not be too long now.


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