Using the senses: March

We use our senses every day, not always aware of what we are touching, seeing, hearing, smelling or tasting. Sometimes it is good just to slow down and appreciate what there is around us. Here are some of the things I noticed on this gorgeous, hot sunny day in March.


  • The feel of the decking on bare feet first thing this morning when I let our cat out for his morning walk and I went out to breathe in the morning air.
  • At the hairdresser, having my head gently massaged while I closed my eyes and thought of nothing.
  • The rough wooden bannister on the steps to our house, a familiar reminder of home.


  • Patterns on the pathway in the Botanic Gardens while walking to town this morning.
  • Bright blue skies on a gorgeous sunny day.
  • Things growing in our little garden.


  • The early morning high pitched ‘peeps’ of the pīwakawaka, fluttering about in the trees, the raucous call of the tūī and the kākā screaming above with their distinctive call.
  • The sound of the water lapping up against the shoreline (see the featured image at the top of the post) and the splash of water landing from the water bucket fountain on Cuba Street.
  • The unceasing chorus of cicadas.


  • The morning scent of Aesop’s Geranium Leaf (a treat in these times) in the shower.
  • The oregano picked to add to a pasta sauce (and stopping to smell the rosemary and tarragon too).
  • Garlic hitting the olive oil and revealing its distinctive fragrance.


  • The taste of the lemon goat cheese I bought on Saturday, bringing sluggish morning tastebuds to life, slathered on toast.
  • The first cup of tea of the day
  • A sauce made with roasted courgettes and aubergines, tomatoes, smoked paprika and the fresh oregano, poured into pasta, and served for dinner.

What have you noticed around you?

Also added to Natalie’s Weekend Coffee Share.

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram @thistlesandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on


  1. What an enjoyable and uplifting post! I enjoyed the touch of our wooden banisters as I made my way downstairs in the dark this morning (South Africa is currently experiencing stage 4 load shedding = three bouts of no power for two and a half hours each); seeing how brightly Venus shone above the dark outline of the fig tree and then the first fingers of light colour the horizon; I loved hearing the dawn chorus begin with the Olive Thrushes and Cape White-eyes until the Hadeda Ibises rent the air with their raucous greetings; the fresh early morning smell of grass and slowly decaying leaves; and the taste of my first cup of tea once the power was back on 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Do you have these power cuts regularly? Isn’t it wonderful to start the day with the birds? My favourite are the kaka who have made a come back in the city, with numbers increasing by 250% in the past 10 years. The smell of grass…ah yes!


      1. These power cuts come round far more often than we would like! Thanks to ineptness, lack of maintenance and years of corruption, our power utility cannot always generate sufficient power for the whole country.


  2. I’m big on just wearing my bare feet around the house or visiting friends other than that I tend to wear jandles alot.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a simple formula to encourage us to savor the small special things around us. I love how you grounded us from the start with the rough feel of wood under hand and foot, along with the magic of a gentle scalp massage. Inspired by you, I think I’ll go outside, shut my eyes and see what my other senses reveal….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. During lockdown, 2 years ago now, I think a lot of us started to do that here at least. Things were so quiet, the birdlife thrived, and suddenly we noticed things we hadn’t seen before. It is good to just draw breath and as you say, savour the small special things around us.

      I put in links to the bird song to let you travel to our garden…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for calling my attention to the bird song. I listened to all of them. What an extraordinary chorus in your garden! (I think I also heard a bullfrog.) This morning, blizzard winds are pelting Virginia, so I very much appreciated shutting my eyes and imagining your birds and nasturtiums.


  4. I’ve just been listening to The Body Keeps The Score and “touch” is one very underrated sense and in the time of covid needed more. I remember when I saw Dad for the first time in a few months last year when Covid had started, all he wanted was a human touch in the form of a hug. Denyse #weekendcoffeeshare

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your list of some of the things you noticed and the bird sounds that you included. They’re great examples of heightened sensory awareness. When I go cycling or walking, I also pay attention to what my senses pick up. Thank you for your #weekendcoffeeshare.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi T&K,
    This article was a feast of reminders how to use words to bring written essays to life in the minds of our readers. Seeing and understanding words is great, but if I can also layer the thoughts I want to send to my readers with the smell of garlic and onions roasting in shallow pool of olive oil while the cicadas roar just outside my window on a cold morning when the heater has failed and I’m bundled up in 3 layers of soft bright colored cotton knit clothing – all of a sudden the reader is right there with me, soaking up all these sensations – feeling my story unfold.
    It’s a wonderful way to make reading memories.
    Excellent – just plain excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The scene…Monday morning…it is dark now when I get up as it is now already autumn…first cup of tea of the day, scrolling through emails, and your kind and wonderful comment appears. Spirits lift, and there is a spring in my step as I go to work. Thank you so much Gary!


  7. Loved your post and a reminder I should do that more often myself. If I were to do it now, I would tell you of the heavy weight that’s pressing down on my lap, and how I can hear the rhythmic in and out of the dog’s breath. When I wasn’t tapping away on the keyboard which is perched on top of him, my left hand was gently stroking his velvety left ear as he continues sleeping.
    Well, I’d better follow his lead now and get some sleep myself.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I loved this post. You painted a beautiful picture of the senses. Thank you for the reminder to slow down and take it all in. I’m so glad you included the sounds of those birds. They sound amazing. I love hearing the sounds of birds and even the frogs in spring.

    Liked by 1 person

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