Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Colours and smells from my hinterland

Washing-up liquid has to be green. Not blue nor – worst of all – orange. I confess I’m clay in the hands of the advertisers: green is whispering pine trees and not industrial chemicals. But there’s another, virtually primordial, influence. At age six, when these things mattered, green became my favourite colour. A lightly taken decision I have never escaped.

Twenty years ago we bought cocoanut-scented soap in Haut. Lompnes, a French mountain town, a cité sanitaire peopled entirely by invalids. The delicate and subtle scent proved an aid to washing my face which I’m otherwise not disposed to do. The subtlety has never been duplicated. Today I used cocoanut soap from The Body Shop. Not the same.

Maclean toothpaste once had a tingly taste hinting at the stuff women use to remove nail varnish. Probably toxic. My preferred poison. Then Maclean entered the Bland Corral and teeth-cleaning became a burden. Sensodyne is the dentist’s recommendation. Blah!

Swarfega is flurorescent green, seductively slimy, has the sharp manly smell of a refinery’s backside and cleans engine oil from your hands. Unaffected by fashion but I don’t get my hands oily these days.

Pungent and earthy Vim was a grey powder which came in a cardboard tube. Add water and you could grind lacquered stains off aluminium pans. Perfect for my Gran who loved elbow-grease jobs. Mrs BB thinks Vim gave way to Ajax. This evokes a couplet from She’s Only a Bird in a Gilded Cage modified by Elder Daughter:

It’s sad when you think of her wasted life,
For youth doesn’t mix with Ajax.

Cue for giggles.