I commented on a blog today as the writer was wondering how it would look to live in a rainbow coloured house in a rainbow coloured street with multi-coloured flower filled gardens. Well not stricly rainbow coloured, but just various colours put together randomly.
I commented “I love colours. This reminds me of our front room when I was a child. When I came home from school, my mother was often poring over the latest colour chart. She would select a colour and ask me to go to the shop and get a tin of emulsion in that colour. Then she used to paint a wall, just one, in the front room. We would have one wall in green, one in blue, one in pink and one orange. My dad used to come in from work and say “Been painting again dear””
I then remembered how she did the same to me once as well. I had red hair, lots of it. Well, the word they used for it was “titian” The thing about having red hair is that it clashes with certain colours. That is common knowledge isn’t it? The colours to avoid were the brighter ones, notably red, orange and yellow. I remember my mother making me wear a red headband on my titian hair. No wonder I became a hot head. I can still picture myself going out with her one day in red trousers, a yellow jumper and a lime green jacket.
She thought that green really suited me. I agreed as long as it was a deep bottle green. So I went through a green phase. I had lots of green dresses of various shades. I had green head bands. I have a school photo of me in a green dress with a green head band. At one point I had a green dolls’ pram.
When I went to Secondary School we had to choose the House that we wanted be in. I chose green of course. When I first attempted to use makeup, I applied green eyeshadow but one of my friends said that green clashed with my hair so she reapplied brown and that is the colour I kept using.
Later when I became a mother, my daughter had brown hair so I was able to dress her in any colour. I had been wearing more sombre colours but there was a hot summer and I decided to wear bermuda shorts of all different patterns and colours. Another friend told me that my clothes were too loud and that she could see me coming a mile away what with my bright hair and those shorts. So I backpedalled to adorning myself in browns, greys, blacks and blues again. Do you remember that year in the 1980s when the in colours were orange, yellow and a sort of aquamarine. Well, I rebelled against all advice and bought all colours. I even had shoes to match so that I could wear a yellow jumper, black leggings and high heeled yellow shoes.
I was living on the sixth floor of a Tower Block at the time and we had an arsonist living in the block. I might go into more detail about that another time. Anyway this arsonist initially set fire to a couple of electricity cupboards so the whole block had to be evacuated, then he set fire to a furniture item that had been left in the downstairs foyer and the whole area ended up pitch black. We formed a Tenants’ Association to campaign for better security. We were under the wrong impression at the time that an outsider was getting in to set the fires. We found out later that the enemy was within. I was one of the founder members of the committee and our front of house was refurbished. The Council asked me if I would like to have the honour of choosing a tile colour for the front of the block. They showed me a colour chart with samples. I chose bright yellow, the brightest of bright yellow and I explained to the stunned and mostly unimpressed tenants that I felt that we had been through dark times and that yellow was like the sun shining favourably on our homes. The future will be brighter I assured them. Hmmmm was the response as they sidled off talking in low voices. I think at that point I was taking after my mother but whereas she was keeping her colour choices in the family, I was lumbering an entire community with mine.
Over the past couple of years, as it does, my hair has surrendered its redness and I have morphed into a blondish white. Now I can wear any colour that I want, even pink to make the boys wink if I feel so inclined. Oh the freedom.