Pandemic Ponderings #60

A day of two words.

Now there really is no link between these two words apart from the serendipity of them turning up within a lunchtime conversation within one minute of each other.

This is Pandemic Pondering #60 and I like to make special numbers a little bit different or special.

Kakistocracy could be worthy of a blog as some parts of the world are living through one right now , but I’m not certain I would feel uplifted by discussing it.

Petrichor is quite another matter. I’ve loved Petrichor all my life without knowing the word until today.

In rural Essex , where I grew up, Petrichor was pretty rare. Essex has one of the lowest rainfalls in Britain. But when it happened it was glorious.

The word was created by two Australian researchers in the 60’s. The smell is actually produced by bacteria that release Geosmin into the air when rain hits healthy soil. Humans are particularly sensitive to the fragrance and it is almost universally loved. Curiously it is also responsible for the earthy taste of beetroot which is not universally loved.

Beetroot and feta galette with za’atar and honey.

Sam’s Tamimi and Tara Wrigley, from Falastin a cookbook.

So the smell of Geosmin is what I and most humans love, and certainly my Essex experience would exactly be explained by Geosmin.

But what about my love of London streets after rain, there is precious little healthy soil in some parts of the city but there is warm tarmac and cement added to the Geosmin from parks and gardens.

© theoldmortuary

St Paul’s and its neighbours in the City of London.

Cornwall and rain are inextricably linked and Petrichor is a rare treat because once the rain sets in there are very few chances to enjoy that wonderful smell despite us having acres of lovely healthy soil. Some of it on riverbanks.

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