Wandering the Halls of My Mind Palace

7 Apr

I had it driven home to me yesterday morning that my mind doesn’t quite work like other people’s.  Saturday night I had been listening to my iPod when “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” came on.  This song immediately made me think of Sherlock co-creator and writer Mark Gatiss.  To me it was logical.  To my foster sister, when I mentioned it yesterday morning, it was another sign of my incipient insanity!

Her reaction made me stop and think about my mind, my memory and the storage of facts and figures therein.

Long before the Mind Palace theory came along (and was immortalised on Sherlock), I tended to view my mind as being like a library with information stored in various sections for easy access.  Mostly works for me.  I can usually recall most information I need in seconds.

All my life I have heard things like “Gee, you’ve got a good memory” or the occasionally muttered “Freak!”  What impresses one person scares the crap out of another.

When I started thinking seriously about the subject yesterday I came to the conclusion my good memory is down to two things.

The first was learning to read when I was 3 years old.  Meant my mind was logically ordered at an early age.  When most toddlers were playing in sandpits, I was curled up with the Secret Seven.  Of course, this early reading of mysteries probably also helped hone my natural curiosity aka my innate nosiness.  I discovered Sherlock Holmes at age 10 and then there was no holding me back.  I think I spent my adolescent years yearning for a deerstalker hat of my very own!

The second was my fascination with playing Kim’s Game.  I don’t know how many of you are familiar with Rudyard Kipling’s book “Kim” and the game the hero plays to strengthen his memory.  Items are placed on a tray.  You study them for about a minute.  The tray is taken away and you attempt to write down every single item that was on the tray.  At my best I could get 90-93 percent of the items.  I loved this game.  My mother was always happy to prepare the trays for me.  Mostly I think because it kept me quiet for hours.  She had time to herself whilst I was frowning over trays of odd objects, scribbling lists, then working out what the heck I had forgotten each time.

One thing I have always found interesting is the fact I cannot remember dates.  If I don’t write important dates down, I forget them.  I can superglue them to the walls of my Mind Palace and they still don’t stick.  Never mind one drop holding a tonne.  Nothing holds dates in my mind.

Names, places, faces, song lyrics, weird facts…. not a problem.  Just don’t ask me to remember your birthday without writing it down!

Oh, and for those of you still puzzling over Mark Gatiss and Maxwell’s Silver Hammer… that quirky, rather cute, little song by the Beatles is about a serial killer.  I don’t think it’s much of a stroll down the halls of your Mind Palace to make a connection.

One Response to “Wandering the Halls of My Mind Palace”

  1. Milagros Jorge April 8, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    LOL! I have the same problem with names and faces…..Numbers, dates I can remember them very well!


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