Monday 4 December 2017

Rest cure

 Nothing to read here.

What a relief.
No signs.
No instructions.
No advertisements.

I find myself incapable of ignoring any lettering
however banal.
These days we are bombarded by messages,
but the habit of reading them all started young.
I remember feeling obliged to decipher the words
mesembryanthemum criniflorum
on the back of the loo door at home.
I can't have been more than five years old.
My father had pasted up some pages torn out of Amateur Gardening to
the panels on the door.
There was another sign in his spindly writing taped
to the geyser that heated the water for our baths.
It read,
Remember. Before lighting remove paper from chimney.
We read this nightly and eventually set it, somewhat bizarrely, 
to the hard-to-scan chorus of

In a feeble attempt to stave off this madness
I peel the labels from appliances
and products that cannot be mistaken for anything else.
This may yet be my undoing but so far it offers a little merciful respite.

How do you cope?


  1. Beautiful photos, so restful. I can't ignore words either, and I have an annoying habit of reading them backwards too. So I'm always happy to get away from it all. CJ xx

  2. I have all the books in another room from the sitting room and other reading matter in a basket under a stool or in a drawer, and I think this is partly why I live in remote countryside rather than the city. I find it very stressful to be surrounded by words everywhere - it's like visual noise. Loud noise! And yet I love graphic design and different type faces etc - I just don't want to be surrounded by it all the time. Street furniture is another pet hate..

  3. Wonderful scenery, is it Yorkshire?

    I don't get bothered by it really but then, the only things to read outside here are the court/grove/avenue names and I rarely go to the main shoppong area. I don't think any of my appliances have labels on them. I am usually surrounded by books anyway (and knitting).

  4. Oh, I'd rather have the back of the cereal packet to read than to have nothing - though, being an ex-English teacher, I find myself compulsively checking the spelling and punctuation.(I had to read this comment several times to make sure I hadn't made any mistakes. That would have been ironic...)

    1. And so I know you will admire my tact for not publishing a subsequent comment. It had one of my worst spelling trip hazards in it. Not as bad as the time I let 'where' slip through the net, when it should have been 'were' in a children's book with about two lines per page.

  5. I decant kitcheny things into glass jars so that I can see what is in them without reading a label. It also frees one from the tyranny of best before dates. Have you stolen my sheep?

    1. Yes I stole them so that you would come looking for them. So that worked nicely.
      The Co op has introduced a new £1 per item offer for items labelled best before, that have passed that date. I have some salt labelled best before 2030 which I am keeping an anxious eye on.

    2. pretty sure the salt lurking in my cupboard has easily survived 13 years. We use so little.

    3. Oh Lucille, you made me laugh aloud with your reference to the best before date on 2030. Thank you.

  6. These are so beautiful Lucille - utterly peaceful. I've always loved long words so am enjoying mesembryanthemum criniflorum! Am a synaesthete, so for me words are also in a multitude of different colours in my mind's eye, no matter what colour they are actually written in... So yes, can relate to the sensory overload!