Moreidlethoughts Weblog

humour,art,gardens, books and whatever idle thoughts float through my mind (it's a very draughty mind.)

THE POWER OF MEMORY AND FRAGRANCE.

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Our memories have a magnetic, hypnotic pull that can transport us across a lifetime of miles. If we’re going to be all scientific and clinical about it, we can simply say it’s the way our brains store and use important knowledge. We need to remember where to find food, remember what it should smell or taste like, remember the sneaky bas fellow who might want to get to it first!

Or, stepping away from the clinical analysis, we can be romantic about this. A multi-million dollar perfume industry is!

A good friend of mine has been anosmic for a long as she can remember. To me, this would be like losing my sight or hearing! Imagine not knowing the scent of fresh raspberries. Or roses. Or spring grass after rain. OK, when the wind is blowing from the glue factory or you’re on a rush-hour tram with the great unwashed, maybe more of a blessing!

But I have only to catch the lightest scent of freesias

wafting through a window and I am back to the first freesias I planted, when I was three years old.

Of course, freesias are not happy in tropical climes and, although I did sometimes have some success in the Brisbane area, they were short-lived and not as fragrant as I remember.

Another problem is that people seem to want coloured flowers with long, straight stems and while growers have obliged it has often been at the expense of fragrance. Sod that! I’ll take the short, twisty stems of the old-fashioned cream F.burtonii !

I don’t have any freesias here . But I am learning to appreciate  tropical treasures. Some, for their fabulous and flamboyant flowers, others for fruit.

Here’s one

:

Now, in its unripe state, it’s the colour of a Granny Smith apple.

A black sapote, not really a sapote but Diospyros digyna, sometimes called “chocolate pudding tree.” 

Sunday…I Googled and found this recipe. I’ve never made this so can’t tell you what it’s like, but if anyone with a Sapote would like to give it a whirl, feel free to come back and tell us!

See full-size image.

http://www.tropicalfruitworld.com.au/uploads/recipes…
250 x 235 – 19k

Myrciaria cauliflora, the Brazilian joboticaba, flowers (and fruits) directly on the trunk and branches.

Here’s a close-up…                                                                               

This is in a friend’s garden. Perhaps, if we can beat the bats, birds and possums, we’ll eat the fruit!

From the road (at 80kmh!), this looks like pink blossom.

A closer inspection reveals …

Fruit! Ah, but what fruit? Looking like one of the many native plants that have similar berries, the only reliable way to tell (at this early stage, anyway) is to split one with a thumbnail. Fig!  One of the wild figs that spring up all over the place, courtesy of birds and bats. The long pointy pink bits are new leaves. An enormous tree until recently, it is now Y shaped since the electricity board chain sawed its middle out to keep it clear of power lines. Ugly? Yes, but not so long ago the whole tree would have been hacked down and burned. Perhaps the message is getting through…

This is a Calliandra. Prettty enough, but a lot of gardeners hate the “sludgy” remains of the flowers.

Sick of trees? Want some street art? This way, folks!

A mosaic “bombie.” * Part of a community project to jazz-up an inner city precinct. This, designed to look like part of the Reef, is a casual seat at the Wood/Victoria Streets intersection.

Old posts, like a pier, make another seating area. On Sundays, this street is closed to vehicular traffic and hosts an art market, with street performers, musicians, all sorts of funky hand made artifacts.

A plaque with some information.

Mosaic fish, suffering from years of pedestrians!

A cute lil bronze crocodile! The bronze inlays seem to hold up somewhat better than the mosaics.

A dugong. There are all manner of reef images, some mosaic, some bronze, some painted in vibrant colours on the power poles. I think I’ve loaded you with quite enough for one post. Maybe I’ll show some more another day. Already too much? Well, be tidy folk and put what you don’t want in the very smart, up-to-the-minute  purple rubbish bins.

I’m off to have forty winks otherwise I might fall asleep at the exhibition opening!

*The dictionary gives this definition: an unexploded small bomb, or bomblet, of the kind littering much of SE Asia after recent wars.

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Author: dinahmow

A New Zealander, currently living in tropical Queensland,Australia (with 2 cats and one Main Man).Old enough to remember George VI, white tennis balls and life-before-television.You want more? Read the blog!

15 thoughts on “THE POWER OF MEMORY AND FRAGRANCE.

  1. The tie between scent and memory can be shocking at times. Like the first time in many, many years I entered a garage constructed the same as my grandfathers – the scent was the same and the rush of memories was near crippling for a minute. I was thankful for the furious head cold when I had to clean out my mother’s apartment.

    Gosh, I love your posts! 🙂

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  2. here, the small of rosa regosa (beach plums) brings me back to summer days on the rhode island coast.
    and the smell of bacon cooking in the morning reminds me of childhood mornings at my grandparent’s house in upstate new york – my memré always made a huge deal out of breakfast.

    a “chocolate pudding tree” gave me quite a chuckle this morning. i’m tempted to sketch my version right now!

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  3. Scent and memory are located in the same area of the brain..just to the left of the treadmill where the squirrel stops to rest and scratch his nuts.

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  4. rew…Yes, especially in emotional times.(Glad you got through it all without too much angst.)

    m…sketch it! sketch it! (Then post it, please.)

    donn…trust you to come up with this little factoid!

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  5. rew… 😉 Thankyou!

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  6. Ooo, lovely flowers and intriguing fruit. Your posts continuously expand my horizons. And I love the street art, something we need more of here. The rubbish bins too.

    Of course you may ring, would love to catch up if you get time. do you still have my number?

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  7. You’ve moved? How did I miss that?

    Scent and memory (sometimes even taste, certain foods remind me of people I’ve known) forge incredibly strong connections in my brain. There are a few that remind me of people who’ve passed through my life or maybe even remind me of certain periods of my life, like the birth of my daughter.

    My great aunt’s perfume, the smell of an old book, the smell of baby lotion, certain flowers and more.

    Not all in my family were great cooks, but one of my grandmother’s was – and not nouveau cuisine like, but down home cooking made from scratch. She was not wealthy, and showed her love for her family by feeding us. She made the most of what her garden plot produced every year and was also way ahead on the organic and recycling front – nothing was ever wasted. She even made pickles from the rinds of watermelons. I don’t think I’ve had any since she died years ago – I should look for some.

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  8. cynthia…yes, most people, when asked to name a favourite memory, will say a relative’s cooking.
    Scent memory often unlocks doors for brain-damaged or traumatised people and I react similarly to colour.

    And how you missed my move was probably cos I didn’t tell you! Blogging is fun, but lately, my time has been apportioned elsewhere. Lots of elsewheres!

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  9. Tell me more of this ‘chocolate pudding tree’ of which you speak!

    I am totally addicted to natural scents. I think one of the main reasons for my passion for growing herbs is olfactory rather than taste. I do love what they taste like, but get to *smell* them any time I walk outside and brush up against one. Favorite thing!

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  10. tlc…yes, I’m a herb grazer, too!
    The sapote ,when ripe, is rather like a gooey milk jelly, dark brown;sweet tasting. I’ve only ever eaten it fresh, but I’ve just added a site with recipes. Google for more.(Might be a tad difficult to find in WA!)

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  11. I love your street art! How fun.

    So strange to think that you are entering Spring! I guess you celebrate Christmas in Summer. So strange. Spring where you are is lovely, and yes, I can relate to that smell-memory sense you referred to. I still remember my Dad’s “Old Spice” smell, and he’s been dead for over 25 years.

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  12. there is a strange connection to the sense of smell and the onset or decline of a bout of clinical depression…but some of my clearest memories involve not only the sights and sounds that smell-based memory evoke, but also a strange tag-along of either impending doom or dawning glory. it makes for some amazing trips down memory lane. well, for other folks perhaps its a lane; for me its ofte more like going monster trucking through a Peter Max print while being chased by a volkswagen bug full of clowns with machine guns.

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  13. how wonderful – just the other day I was thinking about scent. . . the heady scent of flowers in the evening – specifically honeysuckle, hot crisp white toast and butter, lemon, rose petals, vanilla, freshly baked gingerbread and strangely shoe polish

    all your lovely photos – it was such a treat to wander thru this post! I really really like the jetty bench

    (-:

    hope you’re well

    XX

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  14. fn and iltv…nice to see you .I’m piggy-backing from a library as my computer’s down.Not even sure I can get this comment in!

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