Share Your World – 2015 Week #6

February 11, 2015 at 9:46 am | Posted in Gratitude, Writing | 5 Comments
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 Here we are again with Cee’s challengeShare Your World Week 6

 

What was the last time you went to a new place?

Just last week, actually. I wrote about it and posted photos last Friday of our ferry ride to Manly, on the north side of Sydney Harbour. It was a place I had never been to and a ferry ride I’d never taken.

If you were or are a writer do you prefer writing short stories, poems or novels, other? And what type of genre would you prefer?

I am a writer. I love to write, and have written, all those forms and others – poetry, short stories, novels, memoir, biography, essays. Although my novels tend to be historical, and aimed primarily at middle grade and young adult, I am not necessarily limited by genre. My short stories cover a range from contemporary to slightly paranormal to historical. My poetry is about real life and feelings, nature, the act of writing, and occasional humour.

Out of your five senses (touch, taste, sight, smell, hearing) which is your favorite?

All of our senses are windows to the world, and I don’t know that any one is my favourite. They each give me a different perspective that I would lose if that sense were not there. But if I go by the sense that I would least like to lose, I’d say sight. How awful to be unable to see my grandchildren as they grow up, to not see the trees and birds, the sweeping plains and sky, the sea and the mountains that I love. However, I would hate to lose any of my senses – I already suffer some hearing loss, but I hope it never goes completely.

If 100 people your age were chosen at random, how many do you think you’d find leading a more satisfying life than yours?

I would say hardly any of them. Although we are not well off financially and we have a few health problems, we have everything we need to enjoy a full life. We may not be able to travel widely, have a big house and car, or buy whatever we want, but we have a wonderful family, friends we care about, and we can take short holidays in our little camper van. We also have interests that stimulate us and keep us active and aware. We lead a simple but satisfying life.

Of course, there are things we would like to do and places we would like to see. We see many of our friends doing some of those things. But we accept that, for us, they are out of reach. It is that acceptance that probably ensures we are content – indeed, more content – with life than most other people.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week, I was able to catch up with a friend for lunch, and we spent two hours sharing, catching up and supporting each other.

Later this week, we will be on our way to a week’s holiday in our national capital and along the coast. We will also see a daughter and grandchildren, and perhaps other family members, siblings, as well.

(c) Linda Visman

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Long-lasting Odours

May 10, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Posted in Experiences, Family History, Nature | 8 Comments
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Smell Memorable

 

At times, I have been struck with a strong memory at the exact time I notice a particular odour. There is no thought to the response; the memory is just there – a simple Pavlovian reaction to a stimulus.

 

Sunny

 

Memories are often aroused by odours that we smelled in the past. Apparently, olfactory stimulation is the most direct line to memory in the brain. Odours can set down strong connections, and bring back people, places and events even from our earliest years.

There are two odours in particular that evoke this response in me. Both of them are associated with walks in the country, and they go back over sixty years to when I was a young child in the former cotton mill town of Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire, England.

 

Oswaldtwistle Moor (by(Orphan Wiki)

Oswaldtwistle Moor (by(Orphan Wiki)

 

The first is the delicious odour of bacon, eggs and baked beans being cooked on an open fire out on the moors. Dad and Mum used to take us for walks along country lanes, over hill and dale and open moor. Sometimes we’d go to where the town’s two old water reservoirs overlooked the countryside.

My little sister would be in the big cane pram, while us three older kids walked. Dad would sometimes carry me, the third child, on his shoulders. As well as my sister, the pram carried a frypan, billycan, eggs & bacon wrapped in newspaper, and a can or two of baked beans, plus cooking and eating utensils.

 

Egg,bacon campfire

 

When we stopped, around midday, Dad would start a fire and cook up this most wonderful of treats for us. It is a meal that I still relish, and as my husband does too, we have it every couple of weeks. That wonderfully evocative odour has created new memories now, as well as bringing back those long-ago ones of my childhood days in the English countryside.

The second odour is one I had forgotten until, one day, I was driving along an open country road in western NSW, Australia. It was probably about twenty or thirty years after we’d left England.

 

Central West NSW

Central West NSW

 

The weather conditions were just right. It was a warm autumn afternoon and I had the car window open. Thick dry grass alongside the road had just been slashed by the local Council as a safety measure. The breeze carried the smell of freshly-cut, sun-warmed hay to my nostrils.

Again, I was immediately transported back to the days when Dad and Mum took us walking in the country. We’d pass several farms along the way, where farm labourers were out performing the task of cutting the long autumn grass and tossing onto haystacks.

 

Hay-making

Hay-making

 

The feeling that welled up as my brain processed that odour so many years later was one of great pleasure, enjoyment and belonging. The conditions have been just right only a few times since that day, but when they are, my memory reacts in just the same way. Smell Memory janettoon

What odours evoke strong memories or emotions in you?

 

© Linda Visman   09.05.14 (504 words)

 

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