Originality

I had considered using my first post of 2012 to present a review of 2011.  However, this seemed to present two issues in that it would (a) lack originality and (b) require me to remember what happened in the early months of 2011 (whereas I can, in fact, barely remember what happened at the start of December).

Another popular trope (at least in the yellow press) is to present a series of predictions for the year ahead.  However, as predicting the future forms the basis of my day job this would represent something of a busman’s holiday, so I have also (largely) rejected this plan.  I will make an exception to prophesy that, without investment in more forgiving kitchen flooring, it will be a shattering year for some Denby earthenware.

Originality is not easy to achieve in a world of roughly seven billion people.  Most ideas will probably already have crossed the brain of at least one other – and given the percentage of the seven billion with time on, and a web-connected keyboard beneath, their hands, many of these thoughts may well have been committed to the “cloud”.

In truth, I have puzzled over the question as to “what is original?” since I was a wee lad.  Back in those halcyon days, I had assumed it was a specific flavour.  A whole series of edible products described themselves as having this mystery flavour  – perhaps I thought, like umami, we have taste buds specifically attuned to capture its elusive nature?

Of course, I now know that original is not any one flavour but merely indicates that the product has the same flavour it did when first created or at least the flavour prior to a disastrous attempt at change.  Whilst this is, I presume, meaningful to those with a long-running familiarity with the product – it is little use to those coming to it anew.  It would be quite helpful to include some indication as what this original flavour might have been – though perhaps without recourse to the rather florid language used to describe wine.

Only yesterday, I was presented with the opportunity of using some anti-bacterial handwash which laid claim to original fragrance (and my anti-bacterial hands were in need of washing).  But, did I want my hands to smell original?  Sadly, there were no clues to help me – so I took a view that the beneficial protection from germs being offered outweighed the risk of inappropriately scented hands (and any embarrassment that might ensue).  To my chagrin, I remain unable to describe how original smells: despite utilising the lotion.  I fear that despite its generous volume, my nose is less discerning than it might be (truly size isn’t everything) and I probably do not have a future career as a freelance “nose-for-hire”.  Or perhaps I should learn to embrace the sensory shortcomings of my nasal equipment, for if the product did leave any embarrassing residual odour I remained in a state of blissful ignorance, and consider work in high-odour environments?

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