Wednesday, 14 March 2007


Does anyone else have the kind of absorbent mind that holds on to words and expressions and phrases like a sponge full of soap? I do crossword puzzles, and if I don't try to remember something, but just write what my mind turns up, I am frequently correct. (If I try to remember someone's name, a big white blank turns up, but that's another problem.) My mind is like my grandmother's button box; a huge jumble of things with no provenance. I can recite multiple verses of nursery rhymes I learned as a child, pop songs from when I was a teenager and jingles from products long vanished from the shelves.

Wow, I hear you say. How marvellous! Well, not entirely. You see I often do not remember where I got a particularly nice set of words. Dysfunctional associative memory. Up comes a lovely phrase, and if I don't watch it, I think it's mine. This is all by the way of prefacing an apology to Bub and Pie, whose caption for her link list I repeated with a small variation when I set up mine. The words I remembered were: 'Oh, the places I've been, oh, the people I've seen". I think it should be 'Oh, the places I go, Oh, the people I know.' From 'Winnie the Pooh'? Robert Louis Stevenson? Oh, rats! I have embarrassed myself far too often by failing to attribute something, or taking it as my own. Sorry, bubandpie!

And on the subject of memory -- little kids have a fantastic ability to remember something they've heard and come out with it, word perfect, on the worst possible occasion. Or they call you on something you said way back when and you think, "Whoa, you're only three years old, you're not supposed to remember that!" This is your kids. Your grandchildren have you on toast, because when they tell you that you promised them something, you can't remember whether you did say it or not, so you end up going along with it.

And Little Stuff also corrects me when I recite nursery rhymes that do not quite match the version in *her* book. She may have inherited my spongebrain, at that.

1 comment:

  1. "Oh, the places you'll go", Dr. Seuss.

    Little Stuff is correcting you already? Wow, they start early. Now, correcting the parents, I get with a two year-old. But the grandparents? That's sassy! :)