Month: April 2016

I’ve never smelt a stinky animal. I have, however, smelt a stinky person.

Perhaps humans only smell so awful when they have forgotten to protect their armpits because we have adapted to constant spraying of our armpits. In other words, the body now overproduces the hormones that give off the smell to compensate (a bit like that theory that if you stop washing your hair eventually it won’t need washing). Or, alternatively, maybe we notice the smell because most of the time we mask it so that when we forget, we notice it. If we all stopped spraying ourselves, eventually we wouldn’t notice the smell.

My armpits are fragrant delights

My armpits are fragrant delights

Animals don’t use deodorant so they either don’t smell for reason one above, or we don’t notice it for reason two.

Or, maybe, animal B.O. is beyond our radar of smell abilities (a bit like bat sounds for our ears). After all, when dogs come across other dogs they give each other a good whiff and either hump or fight. And body odor is supposed to be related to sexual attention (we might like the smell of one person, but not the next, and there have been scientific studies to show that we actually like the smell of people who will produce good offspring with us – I don’t know how this works but this website explains).

Whatever the reason, I’m quite glad the cat doesn’t have to spray her armpits every day (and fill the bathroom with cat armpit products). I’m also quite  glad she smells nice. I’m now going to bury my head in her armpit hair and have a good sniff.

Will I turn lilac when I’m 90?

This is the second weird thought I’ve had today. Being a synesthete means I mix colour with names, numbers and letters. The world is a very colourful place to me  in my mind and in reality. However, today it occurred to me that perhaps there is also a blending of colour with ideas as well as words in my mind (and in the mind of many other people who aren’t synesthetes).

Today I bought some stamps in Tescos so I could send my nephew his birthday card and present. The person who sold me the stamps informed me before she gave me my stamps (a book of six) that they were inexplicably purple. She had no idea why they were purple, They should be orange, she told me. But no, just to confuse people like her, they were temporarily purple. We laughed about this oddity.

stamps queen

Intrigued, I opened up my book of stamps as soon as I left the shop. It was immediately evident to me why they were purple. It was in honour of the Queen‘s forthcoming 90th birthday. Sadly, they weren’t purple to confuse people who work in Tescos. There was a reason.

This had me thinking: why purple? What is the connection between the Queen and the colour purple? Who chose to colour the stamps the same colour as Parma Violets? Then it occurred to me, it was probably related to the fact that the Queen is about to be 90 and because women in their 90s are the colour of Parma Violets. They are lilac. At least, to me they are (I swear, I’m not a part-time stamp designer). I see women in their 90s as lavender-coloured. They smell of lavender. They eat lavender sweets. They like lavender clothes. The Queen is going to turn light purple on her birthday. And therefore so will I in 2061.

The sweets you either love or hate

The sweets you either love or hate

When I got home I asked my husband the question: what colour do men turn at the age of 90? To me, they turn beige, the same colour as Werther’s Originals. Also the colour of pipes, slippers, cardigans and the sort of furnishings that the elderly of my childhood favoured.

Grandad sweets

Grandad sweets

What colour am I in my 40s? (Or perhaps I should ask: what sweet?) I asked my husband what colour he felt to be in his 40s and his answer was immediate: grey. I disagree (I think he was just feeling a bit blue). I’m not grey, I’m dark blue (a happy blue). I don’t know why that colour comes to mind. As my husband is a man, he’s not dark blue, to me he’s a greeny-brown (the colour of earth and grass but I don’t know why). My 30s were light green. My 20s were sunshine yellow (a happy time).

Does anyone else see decades of life for each sex in a different colour? I wonder. It is a little odd so perhaps not. Is this just another string to the synaestheisa bow?


Are grownups getting younger?

This is a weird thought I had today while scooting back from town this morning on my scooter. I’m 44 years old yet I mostly travel by scooter. I love my scooter. It gets me around quickly, it is fantastic exercise (I can almost scoot up Wye Cop and my thighs could crush nuts), and it is portable (I take my scooter on the train). I travel by Micro Scooter so it is top of the range (these things aren’t cheap but they are worth every penny). I’ve had it for 18 months and it has started to show signs of wear and tear. This is because I use it every day. I use it to get to Wolverhampton, to get around town, to take the children to school and to pick them up. I use it more than I use my bike.

My trusty, yet battered, steed

My trusty, yet battered, steed

But should a 44 year old be allowed to travel by scooter? Surely scooters are for children, and at a push, fit men in their early 20s? Am I too old for a scooter? While scooting back from town today, I tried to imagine my mum as a 44 year old (so when I was about 12 years old, in 1985) travelling around Stafford on a scooter and the image in my head was hilarious. It was almost unimaginable. I’m not saying she wouldn’t be able to have scooted. I’m saying she just wouldn’t have done it. I don’t think she would have wanted to scoot and even if she did, I don’t think she would have actually got on a scooter and scooted.

So the question is, is this because we are different people and I have a much more don’t-care attitude about other people’s impressions of me? Is it because she was much more of a grown-up than I am at that age? I still wear clothes from Top Shop and she used to buy her clothes from much more sophisticated shops at this age. Is it because I have an immature personality in comparison? Or is it a sign of the times? In other words, are grownups getting younger? A 44 year old in 1985 may not have scooted around town, but a 44 year old in 2016 perhaps would. I have heard the phrase ’40 is the new 30′ banded about a few times but what I am asking here is whether ’40 is the new 18, 50 is the new 18 and perhaps soon 60 will be the new 18′. Am I from a generation who refuses to grow up? And how about the generations that follow me? Will those people currently in their 30s, 20s and teens overtake me in maturity or be just as willing to scoot in their 40s as I am?

I’m not sure about the answer here. I seem to be the only grown-up who scoots around Shrewsbury. I haven’t seen any others. Two adult friends of mine have scooters but I’ve rarely seen them out and about on them. I seem to get quite a few stares and comments (mostly positive but occasionally negative such as the young lady of school age who said ‘I’m not bein’ funny or nothin’ but why are you on a scooter?’). Is Shrewsbury perhaps not the most hip ‘n’ happenin’ town in the Midlands meaning that adults scooting here is a rare sight? Maybe there are more adults scooting in Birmingham or Cannock. Is it because I simply don’t care what people think and my fellow Salopians do that means I am the lone adult scooter in Shrewsbury? Should I just jolly well grow up and walk like normal 44 year olds? I think my children would prefer it. They might not be willing to admit it but I think they would prefer me to blend in with everyone else and act my age. Oh well. Sucks to be you, kiddies!


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