There’s a man eating a pasty, maybe fifteen feet from me.
I can smell it. A slightly sweet aroma. I can feel the sensations of a bite of the piping hot food in my mouth. I can sense my slight open mouthed panting, as air is used to cool that bite to a temperature for swallow. I can taste the meaty, gooey mouthful, mixed with crumbly buttery pastry. I can taste the slightly peppery warmth.
There’s something strangely primal about holding your food in your hand.
I am instantly transported to my own specific memories of enjoying a pasty. Walking in the street with my family, grabbing lunch on a shopping trip. Numerous glorious holidays in Cornwall. A rushed snack on the way home from somewhere, late. In each memory, the smell of this man’s pasty takes me there. Fully.
Where does a smell take you and how vibrant is that place?
I’m off for a pasty…
Watching Motorsport at Donington Park today.
I’m sitting on a hill in the infield looking at the old hairpin. Cars are weaving down the Craner Curves, jostling for track position into this all important corner.
Meanwhile, I’m listening to the race commentary on the circuit app on my phone. The commentary covers the action elsewhere on the circuit. So I can listen to the incident at Redgate where two cars have entered the gravel trap.
When we go racing we take a camping stove and I’m tucking in to a freshly made egg and bacon roll. The soft yoke has just exploded across my fingers. The smell and taste a sensory delight.
The sun is warming my right ear.
I’m struck by my ability to separate my senses. To see one set of action, hear another, feel the sun and direct my olfactory and gustatory senses to a stomach welcoming culinary classic.
Maybe separating our senses is easier than focusing them all on the same experience? We do it every day. I do wonder what I’m losing as a result though?