Week Experience

It’s the small events that colour in the large spaces between the more obviously significant moments in our lives.Sights and sounds absorbed in passing can leave a lasting impression of the immediate world around us.

Chemical Bouquet

This week I have been mostly smelling…aircraft fuel. This was something more common in my childhood but its been hanging in the air a lot over the past seven days and in that odd way that we get to associate good feelings with the smell of hot tarmac, bonfires, cut grass or a certain scent that you associate with a lost loved one, I find the smell of aviation fuel in the air somehow evokes pleasant feelings.


Where I live there is a running cat and mouse game with ‘gypsy’ travellers who occupy areas of local grassland for short periods before the due process of the law moves them on, only for them to return after a brief tour around the many other small pockets of greenery around town.

The council has started placing wooden fencing around many of the most popular areas which now sees the traveller pick ever small grass areas for occupation , now in pairs rather than in a larger group of six or more mobile homes. Just around the corner a communal area of grass with trees is now used by two families of travellers each owning a dog and a chicken (which live in their own chicken house) and a clothes line tied between the clumps of conifer trees for drying clothes. The sound of a portable generator permeates the suburban calm.Within days all that will be left will be various piles of discarded refuse where they once were. The council will dispose of this and if there is no money to fence this area off they will soon return. Nomads of the suburbs.

Strimming In Infinity

My parents live about two and a half miles away from us.It’s within walking distance and along the way this week I saw a young woman strimming furiously around her over grown front lawn accompanied by the highly amplified sounds of Robbie Williams singing ‘Angels’. A curious assault on the senses.

Cassette Culture Nostalgia

Also close to my parents is a closed down petrol station boarded up and awaiting redevelopment.The white hoarding around the area seems to have become attractive to graffiti artists who seem less inclined to paint their gang names in multi coloured spray paints but to apply their own personal branding images promoting the url of their respective MySpace web page. One such personal advert features an elaborate audio compact cassette logo. A now defunct retro cassette image by someone surely so young that the real article must have played only a fleeting part of their young lives.

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4 thoughts on “Week Experience

  1. Well for the next few weeks I will not only smell of aviation fuel, but hear jet fighters every waking hour- living next to the Farnborough International Airshow.

    You are right though, there is something evocative about the smell.

  2. As much as I may be ridiculed for this, but I love the smell of burning rubber! Goodness knows where I first inhaled the magical aroma!
    We had a similar problem with the travellers. I laughed when I saw that the council had placed two huge monument/ornament concrete balls at the opening of the land. The big balls blocked their entry… until they removed part of the fence. :o) I must say the land is always left as they find it… no rubbish left.
    Robbie Williams Angels is the official garden strimming accompliment! As is Nickelback for car cleaning. ;o) (I’m feeling so cool since I bought the new album… then I tell everyone I’m going to see Kylie Minogue in two weeks and my coolness leaves me. ;o)

  3. Adam- is that a good thing or bad thing living near Franborough air show? I can only imagine that the sound of low level military aircraft on a too regular basis loses any novelty during the show season. Still a good place for personal aviation fuel fixes. It can’t be healthy in the long term, surely.
    Hi Daffy- It’s strange how our brains associate different smells with good or bad feelings. It can seemingly get quite topsy turvy sometimes.
    Our travellers don’t seem to necessarily be a nuisance but do leave a lot of rubbish behind for which the council leaves refuse bags and bins for the use of. Some bag up their rubbish tidily whilst some just leave it to the council.
    Pardon my (h)ignorance, I am now better informed that ‘Angels’ is an official strimming enhancement tool.Is Kylie so un-cool now?

  4. I hope not emalyse, I hope the OBE and the smiley Kylie with the Prince pics have got her back on the cool track… my daughter thinks she’s cool… ;o)

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