Seven Weird Things…

…About Me.

Archie wondered, and as I would do anything for him…

1. I have a photographic memory. My recall used to be 100%, especially of printed pages or images, but now (as my youth sags elegantly away from me) the bottom left parts of things are little fuzzy.

This photographic memory does not extend to numbers. Unless they are dates. So, if a page of text is written thus:

There were approximately 17,992 men stationed here in 1822, of which some 6,800 were from the 16th, 21st and 11th Battalions. They had covered 903 miles carrying 46lbs each.

I will see and remember:

There were approximately big number of men stationed here in 1822, of which some another big number were from the blahth, blahst and blahth Battalions. They had covered lots of miles carrying a heavyish? weight each.

2. I only realised this photographic memory was weird when I was about 12. Up til then, I thought everybody who was asked a question by a teacher in class just mentally recalled the relevant page from their school books and copied the answers therefrom. Pretty much as soon as I realised this, I learnt to shut up about it.

3. As a result of this weird memory, I know a shit load about Theropod Dinosaurs, Sharks both modern and prehistoric, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, the History of Art, Human Evolution, fashion in Regency England, some Insects and Spiders, and Alluvial Sink Dolines (don’t ask) among other things.

4. I had an imaginary friend called Chelft when I was little. He was part man, part dog… still my ideal friend really, since I value loyalty, honesty, courage and cheerfulness highly. And a soft pelt.

5. I have a litter-trained house rabbit as a pet, although we are currently separated by many miles of ocean. šŸ˜¦

6. I once wrote a Mills & Boon romantic novel.

7. My skin marks very easily so I wake up every morning with the imprints of creased sheets all over me like some weird sleep-state map. If I rest my hands on any hard textured surface for more than a few seconds, they will pick up the pattern like a mould. I could be very useful to the Police Forensics teams of the world…

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13 Responses to Seven Weird Things…

  1. OmbudsBen says:

    I’m so envious of your memory, you’ve no idea. I used to be good at mnemonic devices to hold onto the info I wanted, but now even that is going. In general, I have the memory of a buck-shot colander.

    Did your memory extend to the spoken word, or is it entirely visual?

  2. Rhea says:

    I’m intrigued by photographic memory. Too bad you can’t hook up a USB port and download stuff from your brain.

  3. piereth says:

    That’s why you’re the way you are! I never knew you were eidetic. You learn summat new ever’ day!

    I remember names as colours and shapes. I always mixed up Margaret and Helen at college because they were both green and round.

    OmbudsBen – Buckshot colander, I love that! Only in English… my favourite phrase at the moment is ‘Busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest’….

  4. truce says:

    Ombudsben – sadly, my memory is entirely visual, anything said to me or heard by me goes (literally) in one ear and straight out the other. When I meet people for the first time I have to write their name across their face in my mind’s eye or I never remember it, no matter how many times it is repeated.

    Rhea – yes, except that most of the stuff in my brain would be entirely useless… unless aliens were to abduct me, then I could act like a potted-history of the Earth (leaving out vast chunks of info on Maths, power-tools and cars).

    piereth – ah, colours and shapes as aides memoire is fascinating (what colour and shape is my name btw?). I see colours when listening to music, which is why I don’t go to many gigs or concerts – I find any colours in the set or backdrop or lighting often conflict with what I’m hearing and then it all clashes horribly and does my head in…

    Love the fav phrase!

  5. piereth says:

    Almost as good as ‘Darker than a carload of assholes’ but that’s not one you can use much.

    Truce is pale yellow and has edges..

  6. truce says:

    “pale yellow and has edges”

    lovely šŸ™‚

  7. azahar says:

    I’m envious of people who have any sort of memory …

  8. robodad says:

    I forgot what I had for lunch today.

  9. bosquechica says:

    I have a remarkably poor memory for people’s faces, which is awfully embarrassing in my line of work. My brother has the same problem; must be genetic? The memory bone definitely weakens over the years — at this point, I have a mind like a steel sieve.

  10. ombudsben says:

    Piereth, you might also like: busier than a one-armed wallpaper-hanger.

    Names as colors and shapes!! Vladimir Nabokov (whose books, lectures on European literature and on Russian lit are wonderful reads, often more accessible and fun than the original books) also writes of identifying certain names or words as colors. I’ve puzzled about that for years.

    Names for me often have a first impression quality. Helen retains a Hellenic, Trojan quality. Margarets can be bossy (not just in the comics, someone I knew as a kid, too).

    Silly, I know.

  11. truce says:

    Az – don’t be envious of me, whenever I mention it people usually want a demonstration which makes me feel like a performing monkey…

    robodad – you had pie. Again. šŸ™‚

    bosquechica – I have a good memory for faces and names, but a very bad memory for brands and marks. I can never tell what type of car someone has just by lookinjg at it, and I always have trouble finding a parked car again once I’ve left it…

    ombudsben – if its good enough for Vladimir… no, wait, that can’t be right…

    I agree, the name Helen for me retains a Homeric flavour, as does Diana. Kevin is a hard name for me to take seriously, not sure why.

  12. Well, when I was a musician, I used to dream of having a photographic memory. Memorizing pieces of music was a long process of endless repetition and drilling so that not only did my mind know the sonata, so did my physical body. Sometimes in performance the mind would forget but the physical memory could carry you through that place to somewhere you knew what you were doing.

    About the colors and shapes, I wonder sometimes how much of that is the third eye seeing auras.

  13. truce says:

    Mmm, I’m not sure whether my photo-memory would extend to musical notation – I can’t read music so I don’t remember every having really looked a page of music other than in passing. I’ll try it…

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