Is it just me or have things changed? Christmas decorations apart (and most of them I find tasteless) I mostly find everything so dull looking down a modern day main street in a town. Most of the big shops have disappeared - now doing most if not all of their sales online so that only the biggest cities have an actual shop that you can step over the threshold into and actually finger the goods. 'Do I want that blue jumper or would I prefer that red one' kind of thing. That means that in place of those shops some of the windows are bare, dark and waiting for some entepreneur to have a bright idea - that means no models, no colour and - at this time of the year- no Santas on sleighs or reindeer or anything in the windows. There will be a few coffee shops (of varying qualities) the odd tea shop (and if you live anywhere near Harrogate the lovely Betty's. But will they ever recover?
Over the last few days the News has been totally taken over by Covid - the variants, the hospital admissions, the vaccination programme, what can open and what can't open under the next lot of complicated and ever-changing rules. So the News has shot after shot of the High Street - and it has brought home to me just how dull it is. The weather is wet, everybody's overcoat these days seems to be an anorak and they are almost one hundred percent navy blue or black. Yesterday - a Sales Day the High Street in whatever town it was - London I expect - was quite crowded. If the camera had suddenly taken out all those in black or navy anoraks there would have been about ten people left - and over half of those would have been in fawn.
I wonder if, psychologically, we would all feel better if there was more colour about. Would it make any difference to how we felt and how good or how bad our reaction to Omicron was. Of course I am sensible enough to know that the variant is extremely infectious but I do also know just how important our state of mind is when it comes to meeting bugs head on.
I find myself over and over again thinking back to streets in Seville many years ago - streets just off a main square and they were lined with Seville Orange trees. I have been there twice - once when the trees were being pruned and once when they had oranges on. The colour stays with me.
On the News at lunchtime today we went to Kabul where there is now huge unemployment, terrible poverty, almost starvation - three little boys no longer at school and roaming the streets cleaning shoes to earn enough to buy one slice of bread to share. The streets full of litter and rubble and the whole with an air of hopelessness.
There is, somehow, over the whole world a terrible feeling that something has gone so terribly wrong = I watched "Call the Midwife" last night on TV for want of something to watch - the scene is the East End of London in the thirties - the dirt, the poverty, the lack of colour anywhere. Don't let us drift back to that.
Sorry if I sound depressed. I am not, not at all. I feel very lucky to still be alive at 89 and to be able to lead a comfortable life with plenty of friends, but it does make me sad that colour= in its widest sense= seems to be disappearing from our lives at a very rapid pace. Convince me I am wrong.
I am pleased to say I do not have the dullness in my life caused by watching the News so therefore I am one up on you there and as with yesterday on my blog I made up my own for fun. The weather is a bit grey at the moment, and internet shopping growing as a custom does not help the high street so the demise of the high street as we know it appears to be inevitable but other things will evolve in place of shops as we know them. My life is pretty colourful because I have friends who contact me and we still enjoy fun even if only through Zoom and other technology sometimes and not always face to face. My clothes are black and blue and dark colours because they always have been. You won't catch me in a pink anorak. In conclusion, I think we still know how to enjoy ourselves in spite of everything.
I bought myself a new winter coat last month and it's a fantastic bright red. You'll notice me if I walk past your house!
I even noticed this year that the Christmas cards we received were in very dull, gloomy colours. Lots of beige and plain white, abstract designs etc. Bring back jolly Father Christmases, Nativity scenes, robins etc!
I agree that colors - in all shades and varieties - add joy to life, indoors or outside.
My sewing room has a riot of colors, the near solids grouped by color families and the prints by background color. They make me happy and it's a delight to sew them together into quilts of all sizes.
Hope you have joyful colors in your home and in your surroundings, dear friend.
Perhaps we need to keep a few colorful and pretty Christmas items out for a while longer?
My mood pretty much reflects yours at the moment and in the main due to a couple of weeks of constant greyness, mist, murk and daily rain. Even tomorrow it's already forecast to be raining most of the morning, a couple of days of sunshine is needed to put colour back in our lives.
Not only do shops disappear, but professions disappear too.
That's partly because of the internet, partly because of the climate which is getting worse.
I understand your reference to colour
I feel I need an injection of it
Colour plays a very important part in my life Weave- my garden is a riot of colour and I can never understand a poor sad garden or front yard. Inside the walls are also colourful. "Think of the resale value' is usually the mantra carted out when people nervously consult their colour card, but should husband and I ever sell, I would hope our little cottage would appeal to someone just like us!
Having said that, I do love the soft greens, greys and yellow lichens of England in your buildings and countryside. i wonder how I would go living there for a long time without the hit of Mexican and Indian colours that I so love, and those of the Australian desert. -Pam.
"Colour in its widest sense" I took to be about more than just colour. I took it to be life in general! Judging by the other comments I was wrong. However, I stick to my view that colour is its widest sense is not disappearing from my life.
The news is gloomy, the weather is gloomy, so we must find a way to bring colour to our lives. At present I am not looking forward to taking down my Christmas decorations which are very traditional and bring light on a dull day. However, bulbs are popping up in gardens and spring will arrive.
I do agree with you about the way we dress now. The 'high street' fashions are dull, boring and non-existent in a fashion sense, and much of haute couture is ridiculous. Elegance has disappeared from the way we dress, as has colour to a large extent.
I too miss colours but tend to buy brighter jackets too cheer myself up. I miss larger shops where you could go in and see a wide variety of clothing etc, now every store seems to sell the same type of clothing and it's hard to find individual brands. Nevermind, once the weather cheers up I shall as well.
I agree totally about lack of colourful clothing, I commented to someone recently about everyone wearing such bland outfits. Anyone brightly dressed stands isn’t like a beacon, a beautiful one according to me, if you wear black you disappear. I love colour, for that reason I knit very bright socks which are cheering to make and I hope beautiful to wear.
After the last few years perhaps we need a national cheer-up campaign? Keeping up morale was deemed to be very important during World War II. Dressing as well as possible, and wearing lipstick (which wasn't rationed) was all encouraged as a patriotic duty in the UK.
As I recall you have some lovely hyacinths and Christmas flowers blooming so that is bringing nature's colors to you no matter what you see outside.
Wondeerful to wear Jenny I can vouch for that.
Rachel - you took it in the sense I meant it. Once written I nearly took the post off becauseI felt it sounded so miserable. Those little AfghN boys on the news at tea time, living in indescribable filth, starving and no longer going to school because they had to roam the streets scavenging rubbish dumps, polishing shoes for crusts - it so appalled me - I felt we should be sending aid whatever the outcome
Interesting what you have to say - I shall wait til more of you have replied before I comment.
Well, I am a fool for color, so I just wound a wild, mostly red warp to go on my loom tomorrow.......I think it is just what I need to cheer me up on gloomy days.
For me, I like color in moderation. I'm generally attracted to muted earth tones and texture plays a big part.
My favorite is all white of slightly different shades. It always looks pretty and fresh in the summer and stunning in winter!
I make a point of wearing any color other than black !! Here in California all the women seem to wear, nothing left to the imagination, leggings or yoga pants. Titillating, but not what I would feel comfortable in. If anyone is interested I have two blogs, here is a link to one. http://picturepedigree.blogspot.com/
Color is good, and we simply must supply our own!
It has been a dull day. Nevertheless, I just got off of a family Zoom where I had some good laughs and much needed catching up time. It brought some sparkle back into an otherwise bla day. It is terribly distressing to think of children in various parts of the world struggling daily for scraps of food. It reminds me I must do more.
Color is here in different clothing. right now with outer clothing it's black but sooner or later it will change and we will see color. I always read your blog and admire the positive attitude you have to daily life.
It is a gray time, certainly, both weather-wise and news-wise. I have reduced the time I spend listening to the news--no TV in our house. My house is full of color, beautiful glass, colored paint on the walls, bright pottery pitchers in the kitchen, and it makes me happy. My sister's house is all pale pastels and mostly white walls and that makes me happy too; it's restful and pretty.
As for this world, I try to look back in history and remember that times have always seemed bad for one reason or another. I remember my father's sense of doom in the 70's here in the US, sure it was the end, and perhaps it was, in a way, at least for many of the things he cherished--like the man being the head of the house and women in domestic roles, strict adherence to religious customs he grew up with, etc. Then there were the early 1900's when there was so much pollution in the cities and labor laws were non-existent so people were almost slaves in many workplaces. In the mid=20th century the central valley of West Virginia was filled with chemical plants that spewed poison into the air and water, so bad that paint peeled off cars.
So in many ways things are better today--and in many ways, like wars and poverty, it has stayed the same or perhaps is worse. We certainly know more about what's going on than we ever did before, which can be good and bad. I feel despair sometimes at the course of events here in the US, but try to remain hopeful that good and right will prevail.
In our little county seat, there is much color. Shops that closed with the coming of Wal-Mart have found new tenants, at least most of them have. Many have become offices, a couple are restaurants, and yes some remain empty but overall the town is vibrant and busy. The other town in our county--we only have 2--is also doing well and getting better every day with a young, active mayor and council that has developed a riverfront park and made many other positive changes. In this area, the dominant color is camouflage green, because hunting is a big activity here. But there's lots of blue, orange, and red mixed with blacks and grays. Then again, outerwear here is most likely a lot more casual than in England.
One day the virus will be behind us and we must look forward to this day. Businesses are impacted and storefronts are empty but new stores are moving in slowly. I like jewel tones: emerald, deep purple, marine blue, forest green, ruby. Black and Charcoal are also favorites. Our Concord, MA storefronts were not as highly decorated for Christmas. Caroling was cancelled for the first time. Next year will improve.
This is a gray time of the year, really. But to my right, I've got an hibiscus tree that regularly puts out a cheerful showy flower every week or so, one right after another. I've gotten two wonderful books for Christmas (A Village Christmas and The Dig). I almost always wear earth tones because I'm dull as dishwater. Yes, the world is in a terrible place and I cry over the evening news. But in the end, we can only do our bit and hope that everyone else does as well. It's the only hope we've got, really.
I have just remembered the 90s when "Colour me beautiful" was a business where you could "have your colours done" and they told you exactly what shades to wear. One friend paid up, changed her entire wardrobe... And twenty years later, was still recognised in the village as "the purple lady"
I also remember 3 glorious sunny July days in Seville twenty years ago watching flamenco dancers and visiting a street market. A riot of colour indeed.
Thank you for reminding me of these colourful memories - let us keep our surroundings, and our spirits bright as we enter the new year
I live in a 'gray valley'. and am suffering from the same symptoms as you Pat. But then I live with my daughter who has an extensive range of vintage clothes, and always goes out in beautiful silk blouses, peplum tweed suits and also velvet as well and complains just as bitterly as you about anoraks. Found some music for you which I will put on my blog ;)
I am very much with Rachel here in that the colour is not missing from my life (in more than one sense). In the literal sense, my middle-warm winter coat is baby blue with a cream white faux fur collar, and today I am wearing a yellow and black tartan dress.
In the metaphorical sense, I am (like you) grateful to be alive and living a comfortable life with no financial worries, plus friends and family.
But I also can see what Derek means about the grey, murky weather, and I can also relate to how you feel about all the trouble and injustice in the world.
Thank you to you all - it is so interesting to read how most of you feel as I do. Maybe a few days of sunshine will help to lighten our mood and so some of you say - the world has always been thus sadly.
You said you were not at all depressed in the post.
. . . . . and there's green in all its shades! Due to the unseasonal very mild weather here we are still seeing bright green grass, hanging baskets of greenish ferns on the porch - usually brown by now and always left up to provide nightly 'bedrooms' for the wrens! My herbs are still growing and green, parsley, sage, thyme. The tree leaves are mostly down, in shades of brown and gold, lying in deep bronze piles and awaiting city pick up.
We will keep the spotlights on at night until after New Year Eve - it turns the cottage into a bright place in our dark cul-de-sac - I go out to the street look back and am grateful for a home and light.
My red winter coat hangs in the closet - IF we head out New Year Eve I'll wear it!
Happy New Year! Remember, no matter what the year brings, you are loved and you are strong.
Hugs dear Pat - Mary
My Christmas tree is still up and every evening i have the glow from the colored lights that cheer me up. Most things i create in my craftroom are full of color. I tend to decorate my house in neutral colors but the things i create are full of color. Our downtown area here is dismal too.. So many empty shops... sad.. But probably only missed by those of us from the older generation. You reap what you sow... I hope the younger generations will like what they are creating..
The streets of Seville still have there oranges, I was there just a few months ago. Made marmalade from the windfalls once.
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