The Great British Beige Off

Bank holiday. That celebrated British institution. For once it’s been a glorious one. And like many other self-respecting Brit, I spent a day of it travelling cross country to see family; in my case … my dear, frail, bed bound and ever so slightly nuts Grandma. Now in her 90th year, she has spent the last two of them in a nursing home.

As I walked the length of the home’s corridor, I was struck by two things: the first was the number of funeral Order of Service handouts affixed to the notice board … about six in total, all marking the passing of former residents. Nothing screams ‘Time’s nearly up friends!!!’ quite as well as this, I thought. The second detail of note, was the distinct beige quality of the home. I don’t just mean the walls (though they were an evident offender.) I’m talking furniture, pictures, soft furnishings, signage ….. meh.

Why is it that Bupa – or any other elderly care provider for that matter – feel it appropriate or necessary to bedeck their care homes with magnolia, embellished only by a scattering of ill-placed pastoral scenes or inoffensive nautical sketches? I’m not saying they should to go all Damien Hirst, and maybe I’m just plain wrong: maybe all individuals over the age of 80 favour a nice shade of biscuit on their walls … to go with the nice crumbly biscuits they dunk in their tea … because that’s all the over 80s are interested in doing right?? Hmmm. Maybe, just maybe, an injection of colour would      prompt a smile, brighten a day …. bring joy.

Life is precious and worth celebrating. It is, by its very nature, colourful – both literally and metaphorically.  Life should be full of colour. We all need colour. It doesn’t need to be brash or in your face. It doesn’t need to parade itself in front of those who do not crave it. It doesn’t need to be all consuming. It just needs to be.

In some way, shape or form, colour must be accessible to all who want it…. to all who need it.

It’s a slightly tenuous link, but today’s visual offering (just the one … more to follow) comes in the form of a re-working of last week’s post on Prosecco. I wasn’t especially happy with any of the designs. But this week I’m being a little more brave with textural experimentation … and really loving it! So, in honour of my darling Grandma, who fuelled me with enough wine at my uncle’s wedding to run a fresher’s party ……. (I was 14) ….. Here’s to a life of colour. Cheers!!


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