Saturday, May 17, 2014

The worst smell... (Every day in May)

Well yesterday in my busy-ness, I hastily whipped up a blog post. The prompt was, "your favourite smell", but as my day had been crazy, I could not get to a place of calm and peace to figure out what that was.

I could have written about frangipanis after summer rain, the sea breeze that hits you the second you emerge from your car on a trip to the coast, or that hint of smoke on the breeze that heralds the beginning of short Winter days. 

But no, I chose to write about the relief that occurs when you finally find that rotten prawn that's been driving you to insanity for days. 

So... Now I have to find ANOTHER worst smell in the world. 

When I was at high school, I was somebody's best friend. I didn't deserve to be. We sat next to each other at computer club and one break a week I would force myself up the stairs to the corner beside the uniform shop just to chat with her. K was her name and we'd been classmates since year 5. 

K was slow moving and not very smart. Kids used to avoid her because she had a smell about her. 

In my adult life, I've come to realise that smell is stale smoke, mixed with days of not washing, and probably malnutrition. The smell of neglect.

Why do some people neglect their children? Fear, depression, despair? 

I grew up in a small country town, built around a meat works that closed when we were young. 

Some of the kids I grew up with had Vietnam Vets for fathers. Others had moved to town because it was cheap. Most of us grew up in ex-council homes along the same two, windy streets. 

Our mums worked while our dads hit the pub. God bless the Eastern European bottlo owner who would cash dodgy cheques til pay day. 

The only smell worse than the smell of Tuesday at the meatworks*?

The smell of despair when it closed.


*Tuesday was the day the pigs would arrive.


  1. OMG, what a moving post. I don't know how people neglect their kids either :(

  2. Oh lovely that is such an honest post, and thanks for sharing, I know the smell of neglect, I went to primary school with a few kids that kinda had to bring up themselves, breaks my heart... I also grew up in a small country town, so we're both made of tough stuff then!

    1. We sure are! I, too made a big move - Queensland, the haven for those searching for warmth or nursing a broken heart! Although I do miss the change in the seasons, I'm happy to be bringing my kids up somewhere warmer and brighter!

  3. I know that exact smell. It is clothes left wet for too long, dried over heaters for days in the rooms of smokers.


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