Monthly Archives: December 2011

7th Day of Christmas – #12DCP

Day 7 of the sensory journey; the last, but in my view the best of the taste days.  This also marks the time of year where we look back and then forwards in the style of Janus.  what have we achieved, what do we hope for next year? I was pleased with my achievements of my personal challenges for last year, the Great East Swim and the Dunwich Dynamo both went well but boy oh boy did I drop off the throttle afterwards.  So, yet again I’m approaching 2012 in the officially overweight category.  To that end I have signed up for the 2012 Great East Swim at 2 miles, as the Dynamo is earlier I doubt I will do it this time, too close to the swim.  Instead I will attempt to learn to run, I’ll use Janathon 2012 as my start point and sign up to a plan possibly with Take to the Streets which has served me well in the past or if anyone can recommend an iPhone app that takes you from not running to a 10K distance that would suit me very well.

Back to the 12 Days – today’s theme is:

Taste – Umami

Today I am in search of savouriness, regular readers will know that I am a proud member of the Marmarati which pre-declares me as a fan of all things savoury from Marmite, to rare meat and strong cheese.  Umami has only relatively recently been added to the list of taste senses how did we manage before?  I wonder what your favourite savoury things are, any strong memories, things you hope to achieve in a savoury style in 2012?


To keep you thinking here is today’s Spotify playlist


6th Day of Christmas – #12DCP

Who can believe it we are half way through the 12 Days already? Still resolutely stuck on taste sensations on our sensory journey. Please remember you can keep adding comments right through the 12 days and they will count towards the draw. I am thrilled with the ones received so far and hope later today to go back and respond to any I’ve missed. Today the theme is:

Taste – Bitter Things

Dark chocolate, the pith on lemon peel, the bitter flavours in beer – what floats your boat? Perhaps you bit your nails as a child was the paint called ‘Stop-it’? Today I will be in search of bitter things and see what memories they evoke.

Having read this article though perhaps I should be careful what opinions I give afterwards:  New Scientist – Bitter tastes make you more judgemental, having read the comments following it though I think the author may have been tucking into a glass of Victoria or Bob and running to rash conclusions themselves.

To help you along with your thinking – here is your Spotify Playlist

5th Day of Christmas – #12DCP

Day five and still on taste.  Today’s taste sensation is salt. I wish it wasn’t the case but every time I tried to think of something different this little horror came into my mind…

Taste – Salt


The Spotify Playlist for today is here

4th Day of Christmas – #12DCP

Day 4 of the 12 Days sensory journey.  The poor little lady above looks like she’s been sucking lemons.  The theme for today is:

Taste – Sour Things

I love sour flavours, lemon drops, cola bottles, rosehip paste all very zingy.  I used to love the sharp sweet flavours of sherbet lemons especially as they split and released the little sherbet inside.

I had no idea that there is a place called Sour in Lebanon, having read the Lonely Planet entries it sounds fascinating, with great places to eat too.

What is your favourite sour flavour, is there one that brings back a special memory, any funny tales in connection with vinegar…..?  As usual anything to intrigue, educate or amuse.

This of course is one of the best uses of vinegar – I like this clip because the girl is so pleased when it works.

Home volcano

The Spotify playlist for today is here

3rd Day of Christmas – #12DCP


Hi, glad to see you are back for a third day.  Smells and sounds are crossed off the check list – time to move on a bit I think.  All that sweet sugary stuff from the last few days, did any of it bring back a memory?

A quick reminder that the 12 Days of Christmas Party this year is a sensory journey, waking up a sense and tuning-in to it each day. At the end, for those that want to, a little ghost story writing. All comments published in the 12 days equate to an entry into a draw.

Today’s theme is:

Taste – Sweet Things

I’m not a huge lover of sweet things, but will tuck into deserts particularly meringue based ones if I’m in the mood. How about you – what is your favourite sweet thing memory, clip, photo, thought? I guess mine is candy floss being spun a the Sodbury Mop.

Here is the Spotify Playlist for the day

2nd Day of Christmas – #12DCP

Sounds like rain dear

Welcome to Day 2 of the sensory journey which is this year’s 12 Days of Christmas Party.

How are you today? A little jaded perhaps if you overindulged yesterday, should we tread lightly? Once again every comment posted here equates to an entry into the prize draw. If you are a tweeter you may also find comments linked by the thread #12DCP. Yesterday the theme was smell; from babies to embrocation, quite a collection. The idea is that as you ‘tune-in’ you start to notice things more.  Today’s theme is:


We can use sounds to locate things, stimulate our emotions, we can communicate, sound is important in our everyday lives. From the clicking of a keyboard and the boiling of a kettle to the sound of a fire, a flock of birds taking flight or the flush of a loo or snoring which means someone is having a restless night. We are surrounded by sounds.  Which ones have memories for you and what will you notice today?

So today’s comments on sounds please, perhaps an audioboo, soundcloud or a wonderful onomatopoeic journey through your day, anything to intrigue, educate or amuse.

If you are interested in the neuroscience of sound and some fascinating clips I recommend which is full of information.

Here is your Spotify Playlist

1st Day of Christmas – #12DCP


First and foremost a very Merry Yuletide to you.  Today is the first of the 12 Days of Christmas. Each day between now and the 12th Day there will be a sensory challenge; part of a journey, culminating, for those who want to, in writing a ghost story. Don’t worry though, you can do the 12  Days without writing a story at the end. Each day is an exercise, a little bit of gymnastics to warm up the grey cells and prevent them from falling asleep by the fire.  Along the way there will be anything from anosmia to zygomatic. Every comment you post along the way will be worth an entry into the draw for a money can’t buy prize.  Today’s topic is……


From Proust and his madeleine  to Gio’s socks, smells are known to conjure up images. Imagine what it must be like to be unable to smell (anosmia); the scent of pine, boiling sprouts and roasting meat all lost. But equally what is it like for those whose senses are enhanced or altered in some way; synaesthesics who may smell a colour, or those who can identify a smell-face. Perhaps the smell is a precursor to a psychotic episode, or evidence in a murder trial.

Take a deep breath…… what can you smell, is it pleasant, rank, evocative?

What is the smell of Christmas for you?  Is it one thing, or a combination?  Is there one smell that can take you back to a particular place or time?

So today a comment about smells please, a memory, a link, something from literature – anything smell related that will intrigue, educate or amuse.

Here is a Spotify playlist to help you along.


#12DCP – 2012 – A Sensory Journey and a Ghost Story

This year the 12 Days of Christmas party is a sensory journey.  As usual the party starts on Christmas Day with the first challenge.  Nothing too difficult, something simple to think, write or do. The activities will be to warm up our collective sensory brains ready for those who wish to join in a little Ghost Story telling exercise; but don’t worry you can join the party without writing a story at the end. The aim will be to create a series of Ghost Stories published on blogs, or some other publicly accessible sharing site such as Circalit that can be viewed and read by anyone – no word limits, no competition element, just a bit of fun. The only criteria for the stories is that they are posted by January 15th.

Every comment in the #12DCP sequence equates to an entry into a prize draw, for a money can’t buy prize (because it’s likely to be bits of free stuff I’ve been given).  The hashtag #12DCP will help identify any tweets.

Here is a musical intro on Spotify

So, are you up for it?……..

More writing – Take Three; Chefs and Rome

Another short story made it to the ether app recently – Take Three; Chefs is the result of an over active imagination when applied to one of @PumpStreetBakery’s tweets and my slightly bizarre interest in flies.  You can read more about it here.

I also recently posted a story on a site called Circalit; it is a ghost story called Rome. I trimmed down a longer story to fit the criteria of the competition, it involves my favourite Roman woman Fulvia Flacca Bambula one day I would love to study her in more detail.

Rome on Circalit

Latham’s Dog Food – Bzz Report

It's in there somewhere....

I was quite pleased when the chance of a Bzz Agent package on dog food came along, including free samples, money off vouchers and voucher codes to pass on.  Twitter followers will know of #OKDoggy, she of the early morning walks. OKDoggy has not had that much variety in her food over the years having survived well on dry rations and water all her life with the excitement of cheese rind and ham off cuts when sandwiches are being made.

Latham’s is a dry food, and according to the blurb “wholesome, hypo-allergenic veterinarian approved dog food tailored to meet the differing needs, different breeds, sizes and ages of dogs. Our natural recipes will keep your dog in tip-top condition; they are rich in meat and contain no added artificial colours or preservatives and are free from ingredients, such as wheat, soy and dairy.” You would have thought this would equate to right up my lane. Part of the campaign is obviously about the fact that Tesco are now stocking it – to me that is no advantage I can obtain OKDoggy’s current food in the local co-op and get there on my bike but nil desperandum I asked a friend to collect some for me.

As advised I mixed a little with her existing food. She carefully avoided the Latham’s. I kept this up leaving the food down until she had eaten it all including the stuff she didn’t like. At no point did she develop an interest in the Latham’s only eating it once she was really hungry. If I did the dirty on her and buried her old food under the new food she became a miner, digging down to find the old stuff (see above).

So sorry Latham’s no switch over going to happen here. I’m also sorry that I failed to complete this before the end of the campaign but it has been slow progress.

I am also now suffering from petfood social conscience I did a bit of digging around. It seems Latham’s is actually a Tesco brand that they have developed to pitch against the like of Iams. It also transpires that OKDoggy’s current food is by Purina aka Nestle – the one saving grace is that there is a Suffolk connection, her dog bowl smells just like Sudbury where the local Purina factory is located. The whole multinational conglomerate status of these companies can tie you in knots at times.

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