weekend colour palette // introduction

Wednesday, July 26

My friend and lovely writer, Lu (from Beside the Danube), has started up a weekend photo project – #weekendcolourpalette – which I am going to try to join in with when I can. The goal of the project: to notice, and capture on film (or, in my case, iPhone pixels), C O L O U R in the midst of the everyday. This weekend the colour is red. Which – in small quantities – happens to be one of my very favourite colours. So, it seems like a good place to start. (She has, so far, captured: yellow, pink, and blue).  

The photographs-to-come will probably be accompanied by very little actual writing, I’m afraid, as every word in me these days is being rounded up and ushered into the thesis as I hurtle ever closer to the submission date. (Oh goodness.) So, it’s not really a proper return to blogging* yet (I can’t wait wait wait to start back though. Just a few more months to go!).

Anyway... sometimes, in the midst of great stress, you need to be reminded to look for the colour. And, as the pictures Lu (and her gang of merry followers: Natalie, Audrey, Kate) have been taking over the previous weeks have shown, colour is everywhere – in the paint of people’s houses, in the hydrangeas in the garden, in the light across a teacup, in the scuff of someone's shoes.

I used to play a bit of a colour ‘game’ with myself when I was an undergraduate actually, and this project reminds me of that a little. I had a longish walk to and from the university and the train-station, and every so often, on days when I was feeling particularly anxious – which, I’m sad to say, during those years was fairly often, though I rarely talked about it to anyone – I’d intentionally look out for colours-in-rainbow-order in my surroundings to distract from the anxious feelings.  

‘Richard of... Red’ scanning the streets and finding a flash of red silk in the lining of a business woman’s coat flapping open in the wind. ‘Orange...’ there – a George Square pigeon pecking at a single Dorito chip. ‘Richard Of York... Yellow’ a dandelion pushing through a crack the pavement. ‘Green’ a boy with green hair walking further ahead... 

...and so on. All the colours would suddenly sing out to me, popping out of the grey city like they’d been there the whole time. (Which, of course, they had been). Things I’d normally never give a second glance – like stray Doritos or ruby red coke cans sticking out of a bin – would turn into works of colour-filled art.

While I’ve since learned, through mindfulness, that distraction isn’t necessarily the best way to alleviate anxiety... in those days, I did my best with what I knew at the time. And the colour search was often helpful in turning my mind away from difficult thinking patterns (‘I’ll never feel any better than this. What did I do to get stuck with this?’) and out into something other than myself. Plus, it is also just a fun thing to do in general when I have a bit of time on my hands and don’t want to fill it staring at a phone.

So, this weekend: red. Next week: green. You could join in too if you like. 


Image by Marc Johns. (Sorry this is a big of a word-heavy post. I'm writing this quickly in between PhD tasks. Lots of pictures to follow.) 

*PS. Isn’t ‘blogging’ kind of an ugly word? I love what it means, but it has an unpleasant clunk to it (I think I just dislike double G words in general. Snogging, jogging, hogging, flogging). Anyway... that is what it’s called, but I might need to think of a different word purely for myself, so I don’t shudder every time I write it. 

PPS. If you don't follow me on Instagram, that's where I've been 'micro-blogging' over the past few months (in the absence of writing on here). Things might be a little quiet over weekdays on there for the next few weeks, but you should come say hello
by mlekoshi