We don’t recall everything we see. Our brain spends much of its time filtering out what it considers irrelevant, and locking on to things it is programmed it to think are important.
Some of these filters are hardwired from millions of years of evolution, while others are implanted by our upbringing, advertising, propaganda and social habits.
This is most noticeable when someone is giving you directions to somewhere locally.
“Turn right at the Kings Arms, past the Golden Lion, then right again at the Slaughtered Lamb. If you reach the Dog and Duck you’ve gone too far.” For some reason, most people I know use pubs as their main landmarks.
A few will refer to art galleries and bookshops, and I was recently directed via an antique shop. I have to admit I had to ask for further clarification on that occasion, although when I mentioned it to Maggie she knew exactly where it was.
Post offices, libraries and pharmacies for some; betting shops, off licences and churches for others.
And with her constant searching for interesting materials for her artworks, Maggie reckons she can find her way anywhere so long as she is given directions in relation to charity shops.
For me, however, if anyone guides me with reference to cafés then I’ll have no problem finding the place. Sadly no one ever does.
One thing I have noticed though - everyone knows where the chocolate deli is…