Thursday, February 4, 2010

Swedeness

Would a rose carved from any other vegetable smell as swede?

Do you ever make a random observation and find yourself desperate to use it in a story?

Here's mine:

I sipped tea from a thermos cup which emitted an odour from the rim not dissimilar to cooked swede.

41 comments:

catdownunder said...

Actually yes - it is usually something that should then be left out when I think of it!

(As for the other, you are welcome to read it now if you so wish. I will send you the unedited version!)

Rachel Fenton said...

I usually realise too late what I should have edited out, Cat! But it makes for entertaining rejections!


(Ooh, yes please!

teaforthetiller[at]hotmail[dot]com)

Thank you!

LimesNow said...

Rachel, I do have something to say about the question you pose, but first - please - what is swede? I wonder if it is a vegetable we call something different.

Rachel Fenton said...

Ha -how inconsiderate of me ;) LN - I apologise! A swede is a root vegetable not unlike standard turnip:
http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Swede+(vegetable)

Also called Swedish turnip or rutabaga!

LimesNow said...

OK, I'm with you now. I actually like them, by the way. My father was turnip crazy and as a child, I'd sit beside him eating slices of salted (standard) turnip.

OK, here is mine.

My cat, Virginia Woolf, is so fascinated by me she puts her muzzle to my ear and breathes deeply of me for extended periods of time. I can feel and hear her tiny exhalations and it is a very intimate exchange of feeling.

Tag said...

Thank you for clearing that up Rachel. I thought I had Stumbledupon a cannibal recipe site by mistake.

Rachel Fenton said...

Nice turnip memory.

Awe - that's very sweet "tiny exhalations"...I like that...and you cat's name renders the whole thing quite profound!

Thank you for sharing those words.

We used to carve swedes at halloween - into little lanterns!

Rachel Fenton said...

I'm having a day of blunders, Tag!

Never could develop a taste for swedes myself, but I'm rather fond of chopping them!

Thanks for stopping by!

LimesNow said...

Rachel, have you read any of my posts where I mention my affinity for Virginia Woolf? I feel quite connected to her. We share some common experiences. One of my little birds is named Bloomsbury in the same vein.

@ Tag ~ how fun to see you here at Rachel's, my friend.

And Rachel, I don't think you blundered. We just don't call them Swedes.

Donna Hosie said...

I am LMAO here over the confusion regarding the word "swede"!

Annotated Margins said...

You know, I can't say that I've ever tasted a rutabaga, and now I'm wondering why not. (So how did it get on your thermos?)

Rachel Fenton said...

LN - I haven't read them, no, but I will now. All very intriguing! And I knew I knew Tag from somewhere!


Donna - I say the smallest of things and huge confusions arise! Not always with such funny outcomes! I was riding the bus last year and a lady wasn't prepared for the driver to drive on before she had found a seat and so declared - very loudly - "Ooh, I like to grab a pole before he jerks off!"

AM I doubt if I had known they were called rutabage when i was younger I would ever have tasted them either. I don't think you're missing anything - carving them up into flowers is much the best use I've seen them put to! Perhaps I was force fed too many stews as a nipper!

There wasn't any swede on my thermos - nor had there been any, as far as I'm aware - it must be a component in the tea leaves which, when trapped beneath the seal and slowly decaying, releases the same or similar sulphor based compounds as the swede...obviously.... :)

Thomas Taylor said...

You're such a swedie, Rachel.

Rachel Fenton said...

Thank you, thank you, Thomas - feel like I'm in Ab Fab!


Am I to take it that no one else has a thermos whiffing slightly of winter root vegetables?

Hmn - it's quite a new thermos cup, too....bought so that I can have several cups of tea in a row without having to move away from the pc - talk about productivity in the workplace! Where's my union leader?

pennygj said...

But no-one has said hw beautiful the carving is and how much more appealing the swede/turnip/rutabaga is masquerading as a rose. But it will still taste just the same...

Elisabeth said...

As an irrelevant aside, my husband bakes a brilliant swede souffle that will change your mind about the humble swede forevermore.

Jim Murdoch said...

That's as good an opening line as any. I'd have written that down there and then and then just gone with the flow. First lines are easy. It's what to say after that that's the bugger.

Golden West said...

This is the first I've heard of swede, and am quite sure I wouldn't like eating one, but they surely carve into beautiful roses!

Dave King said...

I can see how that might stimulate the imagination in all sorts of directions, but not mine, I fear. Mine just does not work like that. I wish it did and I greatly admire those who can fly from such a launch pad.

LimesNow said...

Ha, Rachel, although I'm the intrepid desert camper, I have no thermos smelling of anything. Mostly I use Lexan cups and bottles - they don't host odors.

And I've got your back, girlfriend! I was a union representative for a decade and a half.

Rachel Fenton said...

I know, Penny, how sad! Imagine if Turkish delight had been made from turnip petals...

Elisabeth - is he going to bake one for me then? I'm not sure I like the sound of swede souffle....it sounds like a lot of swede scented hot air but I'll give anything a go once!


Jim - I'm not sure I could think to write anything but silly tosh after a line like that but I still have the urge to have a shot!



Dave - my imagination's pretty trigger happy but I doubt this line is much use for anything other than suggesting to me I should soak my thermos in some hot soapy water! However, I rise to the challenge of finding homes for obscure lines!

LN - I've never heard of Lexan cups - I must investigate them!
Good to know you've got my back! I thank you!

Rachel Fenton said...

GW - Almost missed you tucked in there! I don't blame you - they are not highly esteemed root vegetables - definitely ones which should have remained buried!

Lori said...

Ok, after checking the dictionary to find out what kind of food this swede is, I dared to come up here in the comment section. So that pretty rose is carved from a root? So clever. Just like your words. You play so much with your words. You must be so free.

Rachel Fenton said...

Haha, Lori - I cannot believe how much consternation surrounds this one little vegetable!

I half want to do a survey and find out just how many vegetables are universally recognised! But then I'd just be odd[er]!

I play with words, they play with me - it's what you do when you have no friends (or nothing, actually, to say :) Seriously though - it's my stupid humour (humor for you?)...I think I'd be more use carved into a rose some days!

catdownunder said...

There is a character called Peter Shandy in some cosy crime novels by Charlotte McLeod. He's a Professor in an American Agricultural College - and his academic life is taken up with a type of rutabaga. Imagine a whole life of "Swedeness"!

Rachel Fenton said...

I can tell you, Cat, I have had more than enough swede-ness to last a lifetime! You know more random oddity than even me! Kudos.
Was that character inspired by Tristram Shandy? It certainly sounds like the sort of narrative you might dig up in the grounds of some academic institution. Really, when you think of all the strange things some people do devote their lives to, swede is rather pedestrian. Perhaps that's why I don't feel fulfilled - I may be missing my vocation as a rhyzome researcher!

Jim Murdoch said...

So write something silly. As was only pointed out to me yesterday not all writing needs to aspire to being the greatest thing ever written, you're allowed to have fun and be out-and-out silly if the mood permits.

Dominic Rivron said...

Desperate to use it in a story? It is a story. Call it microfiction! Job done!

Who said long was good?

steven said...

rachel i have a little stack of journals into which i pack beautiful tasty phrases like this for something later on. i have no idea what it is - a blog, a novel, a clever turn of conversation - but there it is, waiting. steven

Rachel Fenton said...

Jim - I will write something with it and if that turns out to be tosh I have just the place to recycle this line to!


Dominic - I have written microfiction but it has never been accepted by any publications - clearly my microfiction is lacking more than stature! Nice idea though :)


So you're telling me to tuck it away, Steven? Ha, thanks! I think you might be onto something there!


You should make as start with that novel - they have a habit of taking a lot longer than you first anticipate!

Titus said...

I like it!

And it brings up the eternal, never to be resolved Scottish/English swede/turnip debate.

In Scotland, turnips (neeps, as in "neeps and tatties") are actually swedes, and the Scots call turnips swedes. Even when all the evidence in Tescos points to the contrary. Drives me crazy.

Looking forward to more. Why the Thermos, I am wondering...

Rachel Fenton said...

Fascinating stuff, Titus! In Yorkshire (probably just in my family's houehold) we did call swede turnip when we had it as neeps and tatties...but then we'd never the other turnips...not sure why....oh, probably because they taste like some other whiffey smell...

I was once attempting a conversation with a young Glaswegian girl and for days afterwads I wondered why she was so looking forward to "beak totty" - baffling - but the thermos is another mystery altogether....check back for updates as this is clearly a pressing matter!

Andrea said...

Well you know how I love the incidental and the random things that pop into my head make their way into what I'm writing.

I can amuse myself with plans for stories all too well ;)

Dick said...

I write this way constantly, Rachel. So go for it - let it germinate beyond itself.

As for swedes and Yorkshire, when I was at school near Wetherby we called them snannies.

Rachel Fenton said...

Andrea - I am much the same - I have a whole novel this line wouldn't look out of place in, if nothing else comes of it, that's where it's going - that or the compost heap.


Dick - do you? I think your random observations are decidedly more poetic than mine then.
Ah, see, that's North Yorkshire - loved fish and chips from the Wetherby Whaler - then up to Ripley for ice-cream...never heard of "snannies" - for some reason it fills me with images of snail sandwiches - bet they'd go nice with swede roses.

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Yes, all the time! I write them down and sometimes use them later in poems or stories. Often, actually.
LOVE that photo!

Rachel Fenton said...

Nu - cheers. HOM took it when he was working away from home and had been to lovely veggie restaurant for dinner (and I hadn't!) Bit like bringing me a bar of soap from a posh hotel bathroom...but not as sweet smelling!

Maggie May said...

I add these things into my novel.

Rachel Fenton said...

Hi Maggie MAy,
I have a novel which has lots of things like this in it,too. Thanks for stopping by.

Kate said...

Oh I love your random observation. Yes occasionally I do but I usually forget them!

Kate xx
http://secretofficeconfessions.blogspot.com

Rachel Fenton said...

Kate - are we talking accidental or purposeful forgetting? I have me a little notebook (lots actually because I'm always losing them or forgetting where I've put them!)
Cheers for popping in!