#166 theoldmortuary ponders


This blog owes its very existence to normal life, however dull that may be. Normal life is going on around me, but 5 weeks after getting a really nasty virus, that constantly tested negative for Covid, I am just about back to normal. But without any sense of taste or smell. Possibly a sign that I did actually have Covid but never actually trapped it on a Lateral Flow Test.  Curiously this really does impact my life. Yesterday I spent ages at a food market with not a glimmer of greed for anything that was on offer. Who actually knew that taste and smell are such a huge part of how we judge our surroundings. I suppose this is a warning to you all that I may mention this subject more than once in these blogs. It looms larger in my life than you might imagine.The early weeks of my impediment were spent bullying my taste buds back into action with chilli, mustard and horseradish. It didnt really work on the taste buds, but my blocked sinuses are wonderfully clear now, beautiful echo chambers in my face. My sense of taste and smell can fleetingly return, but only for a few seconds,it isn’t always an accurate flavour of what I am eating either,but after thirty seconds of the same stimulation and all my sensors switch off and I am left enjoying, or not, the texture of what I am eating with nothing else going on. I have two main flavour sensations, everything else is hit or miss. The first called ‘Burning Galleon’ and illustrated by the drawing above of a wooden ship. Burning Galleon happens whenever there is smoke in the air. I love the smell of Burning Galleon, a gorgeous mix of woodsmoke and tar, but it is hugely indiscriminate and can cover a bonfire, barbeque, cigarette or spliff but for a few, brief, seconds my nose lifts into the breeze to capture the passing sensation. The other flavour sensation is “Lemon Disgusting’, so called because I use the flavours below at such intense levels that normal people would wince just having a tiny taste.

I am superbly fortunate that I only get one horrific flavour and that is the ripest manure imaginable. It occurs only where vegan cheese puts in an appearance anywhere near me.

5 weeks on I’m in an eating and drinking no mans land. Living for the first few seconds of food and drink, desperate for clashing textures. Aware that only the first few mouthfuls have any credibility or true value. Constantly leaving mugs of tea undrunk.

Monday moaning done…

6 thoughts on “#166 theoldmortuary ponders

    1. There is a curious silver lining, I am obsessed by texture and trying wild flavour combinations. I will really miss Burning Galleon when it leaves me. It makes me feel a little in touch with the old city of Plymouth which would have smelt very much of woodsmoke and tar!

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      1. I’ve had a lot of eye issues over the past eight years that have left me seeing a bit out of kilter, and one thing is, I very often misread print or words. I generally find the things I come up with,, well, I just start laughing, it’s ludicrous or unexpected, once in awhile kind of cosmic, and never boring, kind of like having a foot in a different world from other people. I have been interested in your discussions of your altered sense for this reason, and how you are adapting.

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      2. This makes me think. I am very sensitive to hot spicy food and even “mild ” spiciness is painful. (I remember a long time ago eating lunch with some customers and ordering Cajun chicken something and well, there was choking, coughing, calling the waiter for more water, and my mouth burned the whole rest of the meeting, not very professional). So what you say about your changed taste, hmmm, I do wonder, maybe I’d finally fit in with my husband’s preferred seasonings if this happened to me? Not that this method seems a good way to accomplish this. Anyway, I am glad the dinner went well and everyone met on culinary common ground, so to speak, and emerged in good shape.

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      3. I don’t know if the extreme reaction of coughing and spluttering , I sometimes get that reaction in Asia, is taste and smell related. I do know that I can eat hot and spicy to the point of my gums stinging without a reaction. I can also peel onions with no tears. Just now I walked back into the house and could smell briefly the flavour of breadmaking or brewing with yeast. All that has actually happened this morning is showering of two women and a bacon roll for breakfast. The bitterness of orange marmalade has been lovely for a day or two but it is just the bitterness nothing else so far, but the texture is wonderful!

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