There’s a distinctive smell in the air at this time of year.
It’s not the Pumpkin Spice Lattes – something that I have never tried. I prefer to save my drink excitement for the festive nonsense at Christmas.
It’s something more akin to the smell of rain, or wet dog.
It is, of course, the smell of warm dust.
There’s nothing like it. The smell that permeates your home after the first merry blast of heating. The heat passing through the pipes around your house and into the radiators which have, for the past however long, been sitting on your walls gathering up every scrap of dust they could get their hands on. Just for this moment.
There should be slow-motion footage of it. Like you see on nature programmes when they focus on a rain drop slamming into a leaf, or the head of a flower, and it knocks away every speck of pollen or gobbet of detritus.
It’s the same with the radiators.
The heat gets into the air, causing the molecules to become more active. Hot air rises. And with it, motes of dust will swirl upwards out of the folds of your radiator. The heated air transferring energy to the dust, warming it, burning it. Bringing to your nose the distinctive smell that you can only describe as “a burning dust smell”.
It’s a sure sign that the nights are drawing in. That winter is coming.
I got to run our radiators for a bit today, after some time spent hoovering away as much dust as possible. But, of course, radiators are designed to keep hold of that dust. To trap it away in areas that just can’t be reached by hoover alone. Radiators are crafty. They have evolved to form a symbiotic relationship with the dust. They protect it until it’s ready to set it free.
And that time is here. Sort of. Probably. But there’s still always an option of more layers first…