I shouldn’t be surprised really.
As someone who has had so many hobbies that you could say that one of my hobbies is the collecting of hobbies, it kinda makes sense that my son has also started to get passionate about lots of different topics, before moving his attention on to something else altogether.
What’s his obsession at the moment? Street sign spotting.
Yes, as far as pastimes go it’s not really on the ‘extreme’ end, but at his age everything’s new and exciting.
He’s amazed to find that there’s been these signs dotted around us all along, each telling us the name of the street it’s in. When I wake early to go to work and peek in his room I’ll often find him stood on the end of his bed with his head behind the curtains, “Daddy, I can see the Astbury Drive sign across the road!” an excitable voice tells me.
Greggles loves to go for a walk spotting all the different signs, and knows all the street names in our neighbourhood (and even some I’d never heard of before). He loves that some are brand new and colourful, some are old and faded, some are almost entirely obscured by privet hedges and one is even home to a big hairy spider.
He can’t get enough. Before bed I have to take him around the block to look at some of his old faves, and if the weather’s too bad we’ll huddle around my phone and go street sign spotting on Google Street View instead. This weekend as a treat, we even drove out to a nearby town to check out some signs that we hadn’t seen before.
Hey, you may think this all sounds pretty sad, but did you know that Norwich has inverted colour street signs? Yeah, white text on a black background! It’s really quite…hold on…sorry…for a second there I was kinda getting into it myself. Excuse me for a second while I take a look in the mirror and have a quiet word with myself.
Ahem. That’s better. Okay, you know what? I guess I am coming around to the joys of street sign spotting. On Google Street View, we both laughed when we saw a neighbour snapped by the Google car in an angry-looking pose; Greggles tells everyone now about “the creepy man at the end of our street with no face”, we ride the highs of finding different-looking signs (like those beauties in Norwich) and the lows of finding them blurred-out by Google (“cheeky Google!” we shout), he’s getting really good at recognising and reading out the names, and likes hearing all about what the names mean. I love this new hobby that Greggles has invented; it’s prime father and son stuff and gets us both out of the house (except when we’re cruising for road names on Google Street View of course).
Early on Friday morning I checked in his room to find his head behind the curtains again, “Daddy, Google have blurred out the Astbury Drive sign across the road now”.
“Is that so?” I chuckled, “to be honest Greggles, I don’t think even Google can blur out real-life street signs”. He’s always had an active imagination.
I grabbed my coat and stepped out the door for work. I found out it was the foggiest day of the year so far and I could barely see more than a few feet ahead of me. “cheeky Google!” I laughed to myself as I drove past the old Astbury Drive sign with the spider on it.