24/04/2014 11:17 BST | Updated 24/06/2014 06:59 BST

Are You Reading the Signs?


Is it just me or are there more signs everywhere you go? Over the past few months I seem to have noticed more things I am supposed to read, digest and either act upon or, in most cases, not act upon. There are instructions, rules and some very strict ones where I feel I am being told off before I've done anything!

I recently went into a radio station and had to avail myself of their facilities. Walking into the ladies I was accosted by signs on the doors, in the cubicles, on windows, the mirrors, at the sinks all telling me what I couldn't do. "Don't open the window", "don't use tissue as a plug", "don't stand on the toilet seat"?! One threatened me with dire consequences if I dared to flush the hand paper towel down a toilet. It hadn't occurred to me to wash my hands, use the paper towel, ignore the waste bin below, march back into a cubicle and attempt to flush it away. I came out feeling vaguely uneasy about having dared used the ladies at all.

Road signs are becoming so numerous that I have driven round a large roundabout three times trying to figure out which lane I should be in and where my exit was. Sometimes there are so many along a roadside that I am sure my attention has wandered away from concentrating on my driving to figuring out what they are warning me of, which surely must be more dangerous than if they were not there at all. Others I have had no idea what the symbol meant, got home, Googled it and still been mystified as to what relevance it had. 2014-04-24-signpost2.jpg

I sometimes imagine some council official driving around, noticing unadorned lampposts, tree trunks or poles and firing off a memo demanding a sign to be attached immediately. I certainly notice any bare spots in and around town and silently cheer only to be deflated when my future visit finds that bare spot sporting a twinkly new sign.

Are all of these signs entirely necessary? Do we really have to be instructed from every angle and aspect every time we leave the house?

Having said that there are the ones that have inadvertently made me smile. Such as a large electronic one on a main street into town which often states "this sign is not in use".2014-04-24-signpost3.jpg

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