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 The Scent That Captures That "1930s Moment"!

All material copyrighted to © 2014

or to the various credited sources © 2014



DEVON VIOLET’s a flirtatious scent because it comes and goes

Due to alpha and beta lonones parcelled in the petals which play

With the human nose elliptically, subtly, in waves and swells

Of aroma we sometimes smell, sometimes don’t, for imperceptible

Periods of time… Mischievous DEVON VIOLET –It’s as if, in

The aftermath of Woolworths’ ghostly exodus –marked by

The scorch-marks of its missing shadow characters– and a

Subsequent deficit of cheap perfumes, somehow something has

Compensated for it, some almost spectral acetate: you smell it

In the newsagents wafting faintly through the inky fumes

Of red-top newspapers, or on the bus, or train (when one can

Afford such luxury), or over flat whites, or frothy capuccinos,

Through the fresh-ground coffee fumes in closely huddled

Caffeine dens of Nero, Galba, Otho… A strange, eerie

Perfume, clairfragrance, nostalgic osmagogue, as if

Nostalgia had grown into an odour, melted into smell, a subtle

Taint in the air, a “1930s Moment” scent, a distillation

Of austerity, taking us back to before that mouldy old post-

War consensus of tortoise-shell-rimmed owlish glasses and wasp-

Wing spectacles, before the need for the “bloated” Welfare State

And its dismantlement for displacement of its lotus-eating

Beneficiaries, long before the glint in the milk snatcher’s eye,

Back to summery Mutualism, Mr. Bumble, Samuel Smiles

And Adam Smith… A Reformation of barely affordable rag-

And-bone boutiques, and archaic second-hand chains –

Though some old wood-countered art-deco-fronted Co-operative

Department relics have long been left derelict, or have gone

The way of Woolworths and all woolly mammoths; in temporal

Terms, only the cut-price Cheapside shops and poor stores

Remain intact, Poundland, Poundtsretcher, Savers and

The 99p purgatories; and, in spite of groaning austalgia for

Old surviving things, quixotic nosterity, stiff-upper-lip

Slogans salvaged from the Blitz, or before, sentimental

Mementoes from the Beaten Thirties’ Tight Young Things,

Flappers of the Twenties, artefacts of art nouveau, the type

Of paintings to turn the head of Anneliese ‘Annely’ Brauer,

Art-dealing doyenne of Thirties England; or fossils left over

From the Arts and Crafts Movement of the Yellow Nineties –

Past Times has gone into the past tense of administration

And extinction, just at the moment its’ historically-themed

Catalogue has come into fashion, now knowingly undersold,

Obsolete as the replica objects and British kitsch it marketed…



Anti-social behaviour is unacceptable. Squatting in derelict

Buildings is unacceptable. Smoking in public places is

Unacceptable. The posture of a ramshackle man whose spindly

Roll-up plumes to a startling smoky blossom, is unacceptable; 

His hunched addiction, the furtive way it stains the startling

Violet leaves of the blossom in full bloom, is unacceptable.

The congealing shadow of the crouching church which dishes

Out hampers and food vouchers to hungry families from behind

The startling smoky blossom, is regrettable. The street urchin

Who closes up his soggy cagouls like a clam in the rockpool

Of the empty shop porchway, is unacceptable. The pavement

Pitcher whose smudgy eyes badger every pedestrian for

Handouts from the ATM, is also, clearly, unacceptable


Everything is unacceptable, except for the unacceptable

The sun, itself, is unacceptable, as is the rain, its spit and dribble,

Dribble, dripple, giro, droo… unacceptable too…


There is, simply, so much to unaccept, it takes one’s breath…


Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grub,

Shoo shoo sponger of broo, scrounger, ASBO, CHAV –

Blue, Blue, Cameron Crew, Osborne, Pickles, Gove,

Clegg, Clegg, Grayling, Miller, Duncan Smith, Freud, Shapps…


Shoulders back, chests out, girths in on drill out on parade

In Candlewick Preen –the Village Clean Conservation

Society getting their boots buffered by brownshirt cubs

Of dib-dib-dob Baydon Gove, and Orange Book scouts…


Sure as cleggs is cleggs…

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