Monday 21 September 2015

Quest – purveyor of flavours and fragrances

Last week was our first week back at our Creative Writing Group after the summer break. I can never get this consistent regress back to school timetabling, both here and at other things, why people insist on taking holidays in the summer months when the schools are out when they no longer are restrained by such schedules. Anyway, for me it really breaks the rhythm, the discipline of writing. So the first week back is always hard. This time our tutor brought in a collection of freshly picked items from his large garden, many still damp with morning dew, others already decaying, mould filling the air as he emptied the bag containing them across the library table.  These our topic, or springboard for our first piece of writing of the new term when our theme is reflection on memory, mood and the senses.

The memory they conjured up was of a long time ago long term customer Quest International, now part of Givaudan, based in Ashford in Kent, who make flavours and fragrances. What I recall is how the concentrated essences emerging from their refinery were often very difficult to distinguish or identify if you didn’t have a “nose” and that there effect on me was always intense.

Stainless steel tubes and pipes
bending, turning,
intertwining architectures like Terry Gillam’s Brazil,
glistening in the sunshine -
an Escher maze enlivened by heat venting, steam evaporating.
The breeze carries the days refinement far before you see it.
Oxo cubes? Or is it Orange Blossom that assaults my nasal passages?
Sniffles streaming; Sheila sneezing.

Still from the film Brazil

© Sheila Ash 14th September 2015

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