Friday, August 18, 2006


There's a cheesy smell in the kitchen. Not a tangy dolcellate or ripe camembert. This one is the sweet smell of milk on the turn. A u-turn. Can't quite identify where it is coming from but over the last few days we have cleaned and disinfected the kitchen bin, mopped the floor, cleaned the fridge and generally checked everywhere.

During the course of this we threw out a pack of mouldy, mild cheddar purchased by a lodger. Ownership of mild cheddar should be a capital offence anyway but the smell persisted. It also continued after the removal of two tupperware boxes, one with mouldy baked beans in it, the other containing a life-form based on spaghetti hoops.

We, like many households, have a rule that the contents of all half-consumed tins of food should be placed in tupperware containers in the fridge for a week before being thrown out. These two had survived over a fortnight.

Removal of such items encouraged us no end that we might have pinned down the source of the smell and indeed that false positive continued last night. On reflection it was because the temperature was down. Today the pong was back and it was back with a vengeance. I was left with no choice since viewers were coming to look at the house later. I had to go (cue sinister music) behind the fridge.

Pulling the fridge out one inch from the wall made it obvious to me that I was going in the right direction. Please God not dead rodent. Please

I don't know how to offer you a word-smell of the thick, goey liquid I discovered in the fridge condenser trap. If you used your toe-nail contents after a marathon to make yoghurt it would come as close as I dare to a description. I have chucked it away. I have cleaned the condenser box. I have disinfected the box. I have cleaned the floor around it. I have disinfected the sink I cleaned the trap in. I have disinfected me with an anti-bacterial enthusiasm not seen since I last had surgery.

The smell has gone. The memory lingers.

No comments: