Synaesthesia and something new

It’s hard to imagine that there is anything new that I haven’t shared. If you read my blog you know I like nice punctuation and grammar (especially an ellipsis), my mother has given up any pretence at diplomacy, I accidentally married a gay man, I am obsessed with coffee shops, and I have breasts and know how to use them.

Today, WordPress is suggesting that I try to incorporate some new element into my blog so I am going to have a go at links and pictures. Apparently it doesn’t really matter what I write about, as long as I have a go at doing new things. So here’s a mini-post about synaesthesia

Here goes.


The thing about synaesthesia is that everyone who has it knows they have it, knows other people don’t necessarily have it, but still persist in saying things like “but it smells blue! Can’t you smell it?”, and “ow it hurts, it’s got a k in it you idiot!”

Synaesthesia is when the senses get a bit muddled up, and it affects people in different ways. For me it means that letters of the alphabet have a sensation. The k in the middle of the word feels like being poked in the eye (as in the word poked) but at the beginning of the word makes the rest of the word fine (as in kookaburra). The name Nikki is spiky and makes me think of Venetian blinds, but is softened when it is spelt Nicky, and feels like something neutral, such as wallpaper. I like the shape of some words, especially if they can be divided into groups of three because three sounds melodic. So umbrella is uncomfortable and heavy like a grey duffel coat, but as a plural is warm like a duvet.

Numbers tend to have a sound, a feeling and a place but I think most people know this and it isn’t just about synaesthesia.  For example, 22 is perfect and is soft and warm like two little ducks.  Everyone knows that.  Sevens and ones are always sharp, primes tend to be painful, and number 6 is quite high up in the air.  Telephone numbers are a problem beacuse mobile numbers in the UK all begin with a harmonic 0, but are then followed by a discordant 7.  My own has a lot of sevens but is offset by two chirpy little fours.

Months of the year and days of the week have a place too. May is always here (points to a position just in front of me near where my waist used to be, and next to Wednesday) but September is over there (points to a place just over the right shoulder and just to the left of Thursday).

Buying toiletries and cleaning products takes a long time because so many of them smell blue, rather than brown, which I like the smell of.  I think it must be that chemicals smell of blue.  It’s totally confusing and devious – they should look like their colour, but it is easy to be distracted by something cream coloured that smells too blue, and vice versa.  I know other people who know this – a friend bought me some perfume this Christmas that smells utterly cream but is slightly blue to look at.  He said he had to smell a lot of blues but he clearly knew what he was doing.

And here’s a picture of the colour yellow



7 thoughts on “Synaesthesia and something new

    • I think it must do because I remember being much more sensitive to the sound of numbers when I was a child. Maybe all children have it but stop noticing. I notice my little great niece has to cover hear ears sometimes and I don’t think it’s the noise as much as feeling overwhelmed by all the senses.

  1. Good work and progress, Gill. My daughter has colours for days of the week. I am reminded to send you the Musk! And who can forget 22:22. :-)) x

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