The other day the 6 year old Leo came to me with a yellow piece of paper emblazoned with black hieroglyphics. "Look,' he told me proudly " this is Chinese". As I was scrutinising the rice noodle packaging and wondering at the intricacies of these foreign words Leo tugged at my arm and in a stage whisper declared "The World is FULL of letters" before leaving the room to share the good news. I remember when I came to realise, like Leo, that the world was made more magical by alphabets. My mother was an art teacher and apart from my brother and I having a constant source of powder paint from the infamous school stock cupboard the walls in my room were covered with pages torn from an old Letraset catalogue. Seriffed and non-seriffed upper and lower case A's were stuck opposite my bed so I too could see the loveliness of letters.
Years later and my love affair has blossomed to a passion for googled information and a buffet approach to All Things Found There. The simplicity of letters is forgotten and now a word or phrase, from 'weblog' to 'wheat free cuisine' (if indeed there is such a thing) leads me to even more words and statements where the complex is made irresisitable with a single key stroke.