Month: August 2022

I feel your pain

Two weird thoughts in one day. What’s wrong with me?

I have spoken here a few times about the fact that I have syneasthesia. I have the sort of syneasthesia which means that numbers, letters, words and concepts have colour. My syneasthesia also gives numbers personalities and I ‘hear’ sounds that don’t exist. Weird? A little.

To feel the touch that isn’t there

Today I made the discovery that my partner in crime and life suffers from a different form if syneasthesia to me. This is one which might sound strange but isn’t as rare as you might think. I’ve suspected that  he’s had this for a while but today was the first time I’d ever voiced it to him out loud.

He has mirror-pain syneasthesia. Thus can be a temporary condition and he tells me he hasn’t always had it. This type of syneasthesia means that at one end of the spectrum you feel touch when you see someone touch something but at the other end you feel actual pain when you see someone suffer an injury. With him, it is most acute when related to anything to do with feet or legs. It has got to the point that if I say the word ‘paddle’ as I have a few times today as we are by the sea, he winces into actual and real pain.

Paddling hurts

It is like he gets an electric shock if I mention certain keywords. He can’t watch me paddle as that is unbearable to him.

Apparently up to 17% of the population suffer or have suffered from this. It’s not so ‘weird’ after all. Even if it is, it’s wonderful to have something that not everyone does. I’m not sure how this could be used as a super power but until we work that out or how to stop it happening I have to paddle alone.

Why I hate coriander

Hello! Remember me? It’s not that I haven’t had a weird thought for a while, I just haven’t had time to post. Life has been horrendously busy, for months and months. But today I realised that I need to make time for my weird thoughts or they will just get lost in my head forever. So, here is today’s weird thought.

This weird thought came about through a chance posting on Facebook about my dislike of coriander. I have known for a long time that I hate coriander. Back in the last 1990s and early 200s when I worked at Oxford University Press I had a daily struggle with coriander. What could she mean? I hear you cry. I will explain. The catering company in charge of feeding the creative minds that worked at OUP at that time thought they were very modern and funky. Their idea of modern and funky seemed to mostly consist of ‘let’s throw coriander on everything’. I hadn’t really come across this fragrant herb before. Suddenly it was being thrust upon me, in bucket loads, in the form of garnish on salads, garnish in stews, garnish in soup, garnish with paninis, garnish with coffee. You name it, they chucked coriander on it.


I hated the stuff. I’d pick it out when I could. But it wasn’t long before the end of my tether had been reached. Eventually, I switched to bringing my own sandwiches. At the time, I put this  violent distaste of this herb down to pregnancy.

However, nearly twenty years later in a random cafe in Aberystwyth (we are here for the weekend) my evil thoughts about coriander raise themselves up again. Picture this. We are in a pub. We order food. My burger comes with a side salad. The side salad looks amazing. I only wish it had tasted amazing. It didn’t. It tasted of… coriander.

So after posting my severe upset at this today on Facebook I am alerted to the fact by a friend that one in five of us have a natural aversion to coriander. To one in five people it tastes like soup. Apparently this is down to the fact that one in five of us is hyper-sensitive to chemicals called aldehydes which are present in soap. Perhaps I have an answer. Perhaps now I have an excuse. At least, I can use this as my excuse. I’m not sure if coriander tastes exactly like soup to me (and, forgive me for this, I actually like the taste of soup and have done ever since I craved it when pregnant with number three son). So I’m not sure I am in that one in five.

I need to find some coriander to check for sure. If only I had some to hand… Anyone got any coriander I can put on my fish and chip supper here on the beach?