Breath of fresh air, and bacon

I have a great sense of smell. On one hand this is fantastic, I am able to detect bacon cooking from over 500m away and can pinpoint the direction I need to go to get fed. On the other it means I get to detect some of the less pleasant smells around us which means on the morning commute I have to stuff my nostrils with tiny pieces of pancetta to be able to survive without gagging.

I’m not claiming I can be a perfumer or someone who sniffs wine. I have a good sense of smell but not the capacity to detect “daisies on the south facing hillside above the village of Charbonnat in early June picked by a young maiden who has the faintest hint of coffee on he right index finger” (aka the smell industry BS). There are however some smells I love to whiff.

Bacon cooking

Should be self explanatory that, if there is one smell guaranteed to make me salivate it would be a few slices of Danish sizzling away in the pan. Nothing is able to replicate it, let alone the “fake bacon” industrial complex. The bacon flavoured joke foods you get like bacon bublegum, bacon toothpaste or Quorn, are just not the same. They are too chemical and harsh.


Which is why my affection for petrol (or Gasoline) is very odd. There is something about the complex aroma of fuel that gets me going. I know I am not the only person who likes the smell as I get 8.2m results in Google for “I like the smell of Petrol”. This article “why do we like the smell of Gasoline”suggests its the euphoria we get from inhaling benzene, similar to being drunk.

Important – don’t deliberately inhale petrol. It is very bad for you.

Seriously – don’t


Again, I have my own sense of double you tea eff, but I can’t help it. I think it’s to do with the way it seems to hit you at the back of the throat and acts like a nasal bleach. Yes, I also like TCP and other anti-bacterials and this makes me sound like a crazy person.

Garlic in butter

Something normal, the smell of garlic frying in butter is amazing. If only it could constitute a proper meal I would be happy. Perhaps I could recommend to Glade or Febreeze to make a range of cooking smell room fresheners. They could make millions (especially for the home-moving market if you had “Fresh Bread” or “Brewing Coffee”).

The Sea

The salty air, it calls to me.


A simple Bucket List

At what point in my life do I have to consider that I have waited too long to do all the things I wanted to do and experience? I thought as I passed thirty I had lost the chance for a family life but I managed to tick that one off the list.

So even though I plan on living for at least as long as I already have I do still have a whole life in front of me. Considering I don’t even know what I am going to do tomorrow I thought I should write a list of ten things I should do before the end.

Pre Bucket List Bucket List

1. See a glacier, by the time I am old these may no longer exist. While they are still around it would be nice to see one, even if it may only be large enough to stick in a Gin & Tonic.

2. Play a team sport, I’m accepting that I am past my sporting prime and will no longer make it to the pinnacle of any team activity. Instead of becoming England captain I should just like to play on a team of like minded individuals of any sporting persuasion (although football and rugby may require months of fitness training).

3. Learn how to properly sharpen a knife, I’ve been bought a number of good kitchen implements and need to find out how to keep them in top condition with a whetstone.

4. Hang up the pictures I am meant to hang up, this should seem sensible and simple but I still have empty picture frames from 2010.

5. Learn a foreign language, it’s a terrible shame I haven’t already done so (being of the ‘who doesn’t speak English?’ culture) but I may have an opportunity while Children G are doing Mandarin or Russian at school.

6. Write and publish something, and not just by pressing the publish button on WordPress. My aborted attempt at NaNoWriMo produced one chapter, in thirty years I may be done.

7. Complete a degree, I have already started two so this should be easy enough to do.

8. Own a boat, I may not be allowed to sail anywhere but I’d really like to own my watercraft. Previous house searches have revealed properties with a canal at the bottom, this means I could own a barge.

9. Be asked to present at a fancy conference, it would be nice to be asked to speak as an expert on a topic (whatever topic) and have my name announced to a rapt audience.

10. Work out how to stop socks being eaten by the washing machine, and how to make sure that all pairs of socks maintain their partnerships. Once I do this it will make the other parts of the list easier as I could become a very rich man (and not just from saving money buying socks).

11. Ignore such ideas as a bucket list, and live my life with few regrets and to the fullest every day.


A step towards delegating


A word I hear all the time.

Delegate. v. entrust (a task or responsibility) to another person, typically one who is less senior than oneself. – Google definition

The feeling of letting go fills me with fear, I want to do everything myself. That way I know it will get done and (possibly) get done to the standard I expect. Results show that nothing gets done and it would have been better to relinquish a little control. Both for productivity and my health, yet the martyr in me looks at delegate as a dirty word who’s meaning I don’t understand.

Delegate. v. relinquish control or become disappointed when not done – Geek Ergo Sum definition

I am a bit of a control freak. It’s why I would love to be a teacher but would not be a very good one, I cannot understand why someone just can’t do it like I say. I’m the player-manager of a sports team, the actor-director, I want to have an impact in every aspect. If I could I would be a one man show and not have to worry about anyone else.
Yet I am not enough of a control freak that let’s me take control of others, I don’t enjoy chasing up people to get work done. If I have asked then why haven’t they done it and done it at the time I didn’t specify. They should know my expectations without me having to instruct them.

Giving instructions takes time, and time where I may as well just get on with the task at hand. Yes, I could show you what to do, and this will give a good return on investment, but then I’ll be asked if it’s being done right and this takes more time. Maybe the task I have delegated will be relegated on their task list so I have to do it, anyway.

Entrusting someone else is hard to do, and if I expect the worst then I’m not to be disappointed. So I prepare to fail, by failing to prepare another person to help. If there is a job to do, then I’ll follow the advice of Nike Inc. I’m not a nagger so won’t keep pushing for an assistant to complete a task, I’ll take it off their hands and do it myself.

The only problem is that I am not a finisher, all the random work-psych tests I’ve done show me to be a starter, or dreamer. I cannot complete so when I don’t delegate I just create more problems for myself.

I should print out the proper definition and stick it to my screen, I should look at every task I do and think “can someone help me” or “would it be better for another person to do this”. Maybe my first step should entrust another to do this for me.