Thursday, July 8, 2021

My Week in No-Taste


Bed linen. Beer. 

It seems rather ironic that the title of one of this week's most read posts (according to the inscrutable Blogger Stats) is My Week in Taste. Ironic because 2 days after developing Covid, I lost my sense of taste and smell. 

Sweet peas. Smoke from a bonfire.

My nose is not blocked, I am breathing freely, but an olfactory sense of what's going on around me is totally and utterly gone. Several times a day I bury my nose into what I know should smell good and then sigh when nothing registers. 

Mabel's fur. Mandarins and oranges.

I can get a sense of salt or sweet foods. The mackerel pate I whizzed up - a welcome salt tang somewhere among my taste buds but the deep delicious umami of the fish is missing. Likewise, the mango. I know it should taste sweet and my eyes know it but my nose and my brain refuse to work together. 

Nail varnish. N's neck.

The temptation is to keep breathing deeply, at the risk of hyperventilating, but I am trying not to, aiming instead for that wonderful moment when I walk past something, breathing in as normal and think "oh, there you are!"

Cheese on toast. Coffee

It's also tempting to keep eating until my taste buds are galvanised back into action but as everything tastes like cardboard, that’s not a course of action that appeals.

Grass. Geranium. 

Today, I started receiving the faintest of tingles in my nose, preceding the shy arrival of smells. Scents that glanced at me as they passed by, as if flirting. 

Candles just puffed out. Canals on hot days. 

I’m taking in careful breaths. If fragrance were a muscial score, I am currently only picking up the bass notes.

Wet soil. Whisky.

Here's to all the smells in the world. The ones we want, the ones we tolerate and the ones we try to chase out of our homes. 

Tarmac. Tobacco.

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