HOLLY MIRANDA SMALE

Writer, photographer, "rapper" and general technophobe takes on the internet in what could be a very, very messy fight. But it's alright: she's harder than she looks, and she's wearing every single ring she could get her hands on.







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Friday, 24 April 2009

Genetics

"Is synesthesia genetic?" my sister rang to ask me this morning. "Because I think I've got it too."
I carried on eating my porridge. Despite the unseasonally warm weather, I get grumpy if I haven't eaten my porridge: and God help anyone who sneaks into my house and eats it for me (and then tries to sleep in my bed). I'll chase them right out into the woods.
"Don't know," I said eventually. "Why?"
"Well," Tara explained in excitement: "when I eat orange smarties, I can see orange."
There was a pause.
"And," she added in even more excitement, "when I eat yellow mini eggs, I can see yellow. Isn't that cool?! I think I've got synesthesia too. It must be a genetic thing."
"Mmm," I said, putting my bowl of porridge down temporarily. "When you say that you can see orange, do you mean that you close your eyes and the colour orange is visible?"
"Well... No. Not really."
"When you eat mini eggs, does everything flash yellow?"
"No."
"Do you mean that you can taste yellow and orange then?"
"Yeah, but I can tell the difference!"
"I don't think that's synesthesia: I think that's just called having taste buds."
"Oh." There was a pause. "But there is a difference right? Because Dan says they're exactly the same as the other smarties and mini-eggs."
"Yup, they're different: men are just stupid."
"That's good news then, at least. I've got working taste-buds! Whoop! And Dan hasn't! Whoop whoop!"

And then we high-fived each other on the phone (we have a verbal way of doing this I can't explain: it's been honed over the past quarter of a century) and proceeded to discuss in depth what it was that yellow mini-eggs taste of (because it's not lemon - which would be the obvious answer - and it appears to be slightly floral. The best we could come up with was "they taste like primrose, if primroses tasted like what you would expect them to taste like").

My sister may not see colours in chocolate, but she can certainly bring them to a conversation.