Tuesday, 2 September 2014

September is yellow

Being wished "a good weekend" doesn't usually cause me to raise an eyebrow but last week it surprised me when I read it in an email, because it seemed an odd thing to say on a Tuesday.  Then I received another message signing off the same way and thought I should check the calendar.  It was better exercise than a facial workout when my raised eyebrow was quickly followed by my dropped jaw as I suddenly realised it was (of course) Friday.  It had been Friday all day as far as I was, well, unaware.  Tuesday had long gone and I hadn't even noticed.

The days of the week just blur into one for me most of the time.  For many weekends of the year I'll be working but often I'll get some freedom on a random weekday; there's no pattern.  As Mr SDS is in a similar situation, we're all over the place.  The routines I grew up with, the ones I'd once thought were programmed into me forever, are now as meaningless as a footprint in melted snow.

It's true, the weekend sometimes still has a different 'feel' to it, probably due to other people's activities, but it's not like it used to be.  I rarely get 'that Friday feeling' (although it can be artificially induced with an Indian takeaway and a bottle of wine) but then neither do I suffer the Monday morning blues.  I do quite miss experiencing a kind of communal weekly mood, though.

The days of the week seemed even more defined in the era of my childhood when we knew that Saturday was for shopping, nothing was open on a Sunday, people ate fish on a Friday and Monday was 'wash day'. I'm not even sure if my mum did do the washing every Monday, but thinking about it still evokes a romanticised memory of linen pegged out on the line on a cool but sunny morning in the school holidays.

Perhaps that's why Monday is always a crisp, starchy white in my head:  Monday

At least it's not blue.  Saturday and Sunday are yellow.  For some reason, Wednesday is green.  Every day of the week is a colour as is every month of the year; January is mauve and September is yellow.  They follow the pattern of their leading letters (S is always yellow).  Reading up on it I find that this mild form of synaesthesia is not uncommon, and I'm sure if we were to analyse what is in our heads when we think of certain things there could be many which link to our senses... even if the idea of it doesn't actually make much sense. 

Anyway.  Is it too early to wish you a good (yellow) weekend?



Update:  Reading the Wiki article (link above) about colour/letter synaesthesia I was pleasantly surprised to see that several commonalities have been recorded - I never knew this before.  Yellow is frequently attributed to S apparently, and others that I perceive do appear to be the most common such as A being red (absolutely!) and O being white or black (white in my case).  I've never spoken to anyone about this who experiences it too but there must be many!

14 comments:

  1. Mrs S & I lead a similarly confusing life, in which we are constantly checking calendars and asking each other what day of the week it is. The polar opposite of our previous existence in which every in which our every working hour was geared towards the lunchtime rush, the weekend rush and the Christmas rush. The only day we now remember for sure is Monday - chip night!
    (January, mauve? Surely everybody knows that January is a very, very pale blue.)

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    1. It's heartening to know that you and Mrs S understand! It's quite surreal to be faced with the fact that, more often than you would like, you genuinely don't know what day of the week it is, isn't it?! 'Chip night' sounds good, though and should really be on everyone's calendar.

      Haha, indeed January *should* be a very very pale blue but it can't be because it begins with J. This means it can only ever be mauve - a pinky sort of mauve and with a lovely metallic sheen - just like June and July.

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  2. I am having a really herd time articulating my experience with this phenomenon. I see things on a timeline...the days are like blocks and my head, my field of "vision" is in place of the block for that day.
    But is periods that evoke the strongest and most consistent jumble of images...it's always the same blur but if I try to pull apart the mess the same picture always forms...the late seventies are head lights and brake lights, street lights reflecting in a puddle on the pavement at night. The early eighties is an overcast sky, and so on...this is after considerable mental effort to pull the jumble apart. Each segment causes a specific kind of feeling...also ineffable.
    At some point, as a kid I realized I was tracking everything I could remember on a timeline...if I had a memory I had an obsessive need to place it on the calendar.
    I don't know.

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  3. That's so fascinating, Erik. I've been reading up about synaesthesia since I posted this and there are so many variants, the references to timelines is one of them... but, as you say, so hard to describe. My colour-letter/week/month thing is something I've known since early childhood, presumably since learning language, I never even thought it was either unusual or normal, it was just what I had in my head so normal to me - only in the last few years did I realise that it was actually considered a condition and what I experience is a very specific version of it, the most common type in fact (grapheme). Your timeline is another that is written about quite a lot - I'm going to go and read up more on it now! To me (knowing nothing about neurology) it seems perfectly feasible that our brains, with all their capacity for intellect, learning and imagination, have their own untaught methods for storing and evoking which manifest themselves in this way - but apparently it means we have a bit more grey matter than those who don't have synaesthetic experiences!

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    1. I have special synaesthesia...I read about it yesterday and that is me all over. None of the descriptions are exact or complete but it's enough.

      As an aside, you should know that you (Swede, Old Pa..you too), have a "space" in my mind...for every interaction you get a new space on a time line. If I recall something you've written here or at my place...it is back in a 3-d space in my mind.

      I was explaining this to Martha last night...like you I had no idea this was a thing. She looked at me like I had a peanut bush growing out of my forehead. "I have no idea what you are talking about." I'm pretty sure The Boy has it bad...he'll tell you what day of the week things happened on..."oh yeah that was a Wednesday." I've been in the car with him, when he was a little thing, heading into an intersection on a road we've not been on before and he'll know where we are...he recognizes and then flips in his mind the roads he knows. "Oh this is a different way to go where I get my hair cut...it must be right over there."

      Have you heard the stories of Syd Barret telling producers he wanted a song to sound like "Thursday afternoon"...sh*t like that?

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    2. And itt's a very nice space on the timeline of your mind, too, thanks. Great d├ęcor!

      Massive subject, isn't it? Could talk about it for hours. It's so hard to explain what's in our minds and even stopping to try and articulate it sort of changes it because of the process of putting into language. Language is so limited/limiting. Our minds and senses are amazing. It sounds as if The Boy is seeing the world already in a personal map form?
      The Syd Barrett example is great; I do sort of get it. It could sound so contrived yet it also seems so honest, the sort of thing you might think/say as a young child before you get bogged down with knowledge, self-consciousness and analysis. An emotional response instead of a considered one.

      As an aside, with my coloured letters, Saturday, Sunday and September are all yellow because they begin with S which is yellow, but whilst T and thus Tuesday are grey, Thursday isn't (it's russet). 'Th' is different from 'T'. So there are sound conditions in there too. I don't know why - I didn't make the rules ;-)

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    3. Spatial... special..? They're both the same.

      Especially where you come from!

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  4. I have mostly done shift work all my life...but the allure of the weekend if I was off was always somthing special...that anticipation of having a 'few' or doing 'somthing' special...now I am retired the weekend I still feel as if I should do 'somthing'...it is just nice to look forward to 'somthing'.....oh shit! everythings gone green!!!

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    1. Oh yes you must understand the way the weekday/weekend patterns lose some of their meaning when you're working shifts and when retired... but I like that you still feel as if you should do something and look forward to it, it keeps it special! I keep hoping I'll be able to return to that, to put my work away on a Friday night and not return to it until a Monday, so I can make something more out of the traditional weekend, but in a way that would also deprive me of the freedom to sometimes do other things on random days when the breaks do come. Can't have it both ways!
      Green...? Is it Wednesday?!

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  5. I thought you might find No.7 on this list interesting.

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    1. Thanks... that's pretty amazing (and extreme!)

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  6. Fascinating, C. I, too, have often associated colours with all sorts of things and vice versa. I'm moved by what you say about the days of the week no longer having any particular 'purpose'. I really do wish there was some more of the old order in our lives and yearn for the shops to all close on a Sunday (which has nothing to do with my religious leanings, either). Down here we do make some attempt to keep certain days for some activities but are often thwarted by circumstance. I think the older folk possessed a greater wisdom than we can fathom.

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    1. Thanks, SB. Yes,the more I think about it, the more individual weekdays were... we had Early Closing Day! I don't suppose anywhere does any more. The only thing that still differentiates now perhaps is Market Day. Or, the day not to go into town if you want to park quickly....

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