Walking, Tea and Memories

I met this cute fella on my walk!




Feeling much more energized this week. Thanks to all the suggestions of how to stay spritely during the wintery days.

After one of my short walks this week, I popped into our local shop and bought some ginger tea (thanks for the tip Julia). I wasn’t expecting an immediate effect and to be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to the experience. I’m a coffee drinker and generally don’t like tea. But I was surprised what happened when I breathed in the aroma of the hot liquid. My memory sparked and I was back in primary school.

I remembered one of the class projects we carried out when I was about seven years old. We created a ginger beer plant!  We all gathered around a table each morning and fed this plant, which was housed in a large clear bottle (it probably wasn’t a plant at all).  I can’t remember what we fed it – water and ginger probably – but every Friday afternoon we syphoned off the liquid and drank it. It was delicious. The memories are vague but the smells and the taste of that project continue to linger. With more stringent health and safety in schools nowadays, this probably wouldn’t happen anymore, which is a shame. Such a wonderful memory to have.

The most surprising part of this memory is that I remember the taste and the smell. Quite often we rely so heavily on our sight we forget to tap into our other senses. Do you have a childhood memory triggered by the senses other than sight? Do you remember to include all the senses in your writing?

There you are!
I would love to hear from you. Happy writing!

Comments

  1. Never heard of a ginger beer plant. That was a unique project.
    Working all the senses into a story is a challenge for me.
    Sounds and smells do bring back memories though.

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    1. When I'm in the zone, I do tend to rely on the images in my head and like you, Alex, I have to remind myself to tap into the other senses. Thanks for popping across to comment.

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  2. I've grown a ginger beer 'plant' - though not at school. I'm sure you're right that it wouldn't be allowed now.

    Sugar is one of the main things it's fed on as well as the water and ginger. Yeast is needed to start it off. The fermentation turns the sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide (which makes the bubbles).

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    1. Oooo does that mean I was drinking alcohol at the age of 7 ? :) If you have an old recipe to hand, Patsy, please pass it on. I'd love to relive that experience. Thank you for popping by to comment. Have a lovely day.

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  3. My memories are always triggered by smells. I can't do anything without my past pinging into my head!

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    1. Ping away, Annalisa and write it all down :) Have a great rest of the week. Hope you've worn in those shoes :) Thanks for popping by.

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  4. I have to force myself to include the five senses when I'm writing. It doesn't come naturally. Food tastes are the most frequent memory triggers for me.

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    1. I do love food memories :) They are not all pleasant :) Thank you for commenting Karen. Lovely to see you.

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  5. When I was a kid my mom used to make the best baked ginger pudding ever! As we got older, she stopped making the pudding for some reason and now she can't remember the recipe. Mom isn't big on writing down recipes, which is a shame. Because the taste and smell of that pudding was pure happiness for me. I can still remember the taste. I'm a terrible descriptive writer. I often forget to include what things taste, smell, or look like. Take care:)

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    1. Great memory, Murees. Thanks for sharing! I do hope you get that recipe - somehow :) Sounds delicious. Thank you for commenting. Have a great week!

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  6. If I close my eyes I can smell the ginger beer plant now! We used to have one going when we were first married and ended up with loads of bottles behind the sofa until the night they started exploding! That was a lovely mess to clear up - sticky walls and ceiling :-) xx

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    1. uh-oh! Mind you, Teresa, I bet it was funny - or at least it is now thinking back :) Thanks so much for sharing. Have a lovely week.

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  7. That horse is so cute!

    I've never heard of Ginger Beer plants. Is that how you make ginger beer like on Harry Potter? ;)

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    1. Luckily, I know I wasn't remembering wrong. Patsy and Teresa know of it too. Phew! Doh, Chrys! Now I'm going to have to have a Harry Potter day so I can answer your question :):) Thanks for popping over to comment.

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  8. What a beautiful horse! I haven't heard of a ginger beer plant before, but my plant knowledge is woefully lacking. The ginger tea sounds good, and I love how it reminded you of the ginger beer plant. Smells are great for reminding us of things.

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    1. I don't really like horses and they generally don't like me much either :):) But this one looked so cute. Thanks so much for popping over to comment Cherie.

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  9. I do love ginger, Nicola, and have some fresh slivers of it with freshly squeezed lemon and a very small amount of Manuka honey in my glass of warm water to start every day, all year round. It's certainly helped keep my previous sinus problem at bay most of the time. Glad you had such a good walk and I love that photo!

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    1. I'm out food shopping tomorrow so I will pick up some fresh ginger and lemon. I'll have to look up what Manuka honey is though. Not heard of that before. I suffer terribly with sinus problems, so I am going to try a daily dose of that and hopefully it will help me too. Much healthier than coffee. Oh dear, I'm talking myself into a healthier life-style :):) Thank you for commenting Rosemary.

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  10. The horse looks so sweet and so pretty! I have never heard of that plant and, knowing me, I would kill it as I have a black thumb. I love the smell of oil in sawdust. Weird eh? I grew up on a sawmill which my parents owned. I love that smell because of climbing on the logs.

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    1. I love the smell of wood. It must have been fun growing up. Thank you for sharing, Birgit. Have a lovely weekend.

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  11. A lovely post, Nicola. Thank you.
    Smells are such incredible memory triggers. At the time my brother died, I was in the habit of wearing a lily-of-the-valley perfume that one of my daughters had given me. I kept the empty bottle and now I only have to open it and sniff gently to bring my brother back. xxx

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    1. Thank you, Joanna. Living in Germany, I miss my family terribly. Last time I was in England I took one of my mom's scarves. It now lives next to my writing desk. I love it because it smells of her perfume and when that 'missing you pang' hits, I wrapped it around my shoulders. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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    2. Naturally, that should read 'wrap' not 'wrapped'. And as an after thought - my mother does know I have her scarf :)

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  12. There's a bouquet of herbs at the store that brings me back to childhood. I have a feeling it's a plant from the park close to my old neighborhood or that my mom cooked it when I was little.

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    1. I love herbs, especially growing in the garden. Thanks for popping by to comment. Have a great weekend.

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  13. My auntie used to make ginger beer. She always used a 'mother' to start it off. This is something that grows naturally in things like old vinegar. Back then we would have to throw out vinegar because it had 'mothers' in it. Now I'm off to Google this and see if my memories are correct. I expect 'mother' will turn out to be a local word from some form of bacteria, though I recently noticed some in a restaurant. I think they must have kept topping up the vinegar instead of waiting for the bottle to empty and then using fresh.

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    1. Sounds intriguing, Lynne. I'm off to google it too :) I bought some fresh ginger today. Starting small, I'm going to try to make some tea. Can't be that hard, can it? :) Thank you so much for sharing. Have a lovely, relaxing weekend.

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  14. I'm glad you're feeling a bit perkier, Nicola. Keep taking the ginger!

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    1. Thanks for the tip! Works a treat! Have a great weekend.

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  15. The sense of smell conjures up some vivid memories. I am transported back to my childhood and spending time with my nan. I don't use this enough in my writing. Thanks for the reminder...
    My blog:
    gramswisewords.blogspot.com

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    1. Lovely 'to meet' you Marian. Thank you for introducing yourself and for visiting my blog! Hope to see you again soon. Have a lovely new week.

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    2. I have replied to you on my blog Nicola - thanks for your very encouraging comment...

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  16. A lovely post, Nicola. I had a Ginger Beer plant and your description evoked childhood memories for me.

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    1. Thank you, Jan. Have a lovely week.

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  17. I've never heard of a ginger beer plant before, but thanks for the heads up!

    https://ficklemillennial.wordpress.com

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  18. I can't smell daffodils without a memory of my eldest daughter as a new born. It was spring and my hospital room was full of bouquets of spring flowers (not a childhood memory but a lovely one nonetheless).

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    1. What a lovely memory, Wendy. Thank you for sharing. Have a great week.

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  19. I've read that smell is one of the strongest memory sources. You'll suddenly smell something and be taken back to a different time. It's funny because you might not have even noticed the smell when you originally smelled it.

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    1. There is truth in your words. I didn't remember that childhood memory until I made ginger tea. Strange. Thank you for your comment, Stephanie.

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  20. My sense of smell is my strongest trigger for memories. Baked cookies for my Nana and tar for fixing roads for my dad.

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    1. Thank you for sharing, Christine. Have a lovely week.

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  21. So many memories are triggered by my senses--aromas, the feel of the air in the morning, the taste of a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup, the sound of an old favorite song...so many memories.

    Welcome to the A to Z Challenge. I'm now following your blog and hope to read some more interesting posts from you.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out
    &
    Wrote By Rote

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    1. Great to 'meet' you! Thanks so much for popping by to comment. I'm feeling hungry now. I love grilled cheese sandwiches. I am really looking foward to the A to Z challenge. I didn't have the courage last year but now I'm feeling more confident thanks to the IWSG. I've already started to jot down some ideas :) Hope to see you again soon.

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  22. It is interesting how smells trigger moments from the past. I can't whiff baking bread without being swept back to my grandmother's kitchen.

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    1. That sounds delicious, Lee. I have really fond memories of the aromas of my grandma's kitchen too. Thank you for popping by.

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  23. It's often easy to forget to incorporate all the senses into writing but it's important. Both the taste and smell of gherkins remind me of my grandparents' house - in a good way!

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    1. I love gherkins! I have to remind myself to incorporate all 5 senses into longer pieces of writing,although it is more automatic when I'm writing shorter pieces. Thank you for commenting, Nick. Have a great week.

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  24. Ginger tea is the best, and I like the ginger-lemon combo. It's yummy and soothing.
    Happy Tuesday, and thanks for finding me.

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    1. Great to 'see' you! Thanks for popping by to comment. Have a great week.

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  25. Sound will often trigger memories with me. Not so much smell (as my smeller doesn't work so well), but music is deep seated in a lot of my memories. I tie a lot of my characters to music too, so songs will occasionally trigger scenes from my writing in my head.

    I hope your energy levels are rising!

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    1. Enery levels rising, Loni :) YAY!! Sound is a great trigger. Mind you, even though I am musical I enjoy tranquility. Thanks for popping over! Hope all is well with you.

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