Sunday, June 04, 2006


Have you looked at the Dulux colour chart recently? You won’t find blue, yellow or green. But you will find Utopia, Waffle, Crave, Lulu and Pashmina. I’m not making it up!

We didn’t have colours in the fifties - everything was in black and white.

Gradually we discovered shades like charcoal grey, olive green and donkey brown. Later on, strawberry pink, burnt orange and african violet sent us into paroxysms of excitement. I’ve always loved Smarties.

Anyone choosing a colour now would be reminded of Buridan’s ass who, when asked to choose between 2 bales of hay, starved to death. That’s why I always wear black, white or grey.

Lots of chemistry is colourful - especially the transition metal compounds - cobalt blue, nickel green, chrome yellow. I used to encourage my students to describe the colours creatively.

One year the A level examiners’ report said - and I quote - ‘The colours of the rainbow will suffice. Candidates should not be encouraged to use such terms as burgundy, aubergine or urine coloured in their answers’. It was obviously written by a bunch of sad lads wearing smelly Harris tweed jackets with test tubes sticking out of the pockets.

I won’t say more on the subject of Chemistry examiners.

They could teach Bill Oddie’s badgers how to pick nits!


Anonymous Blue Witch said...

Yes, the paint thing annoys me... it's just jumping on the sadly over-dominant marketing bandwagon of having to over-sell anything and everything (look at how they describe shop-bought sandwiches on the wrappers).

10:43 am  
Blogger stitchwort said...

After several years of painting rooms in different colours, the end came for us when we decided to paint the hall terracotta with cream woodwork - what we actually got was *Germolene* and *butter*, and ever since have just painted everything magnolia.

12:45 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

BW - Oh yes.. like the M&S adverts that say 'This is not just a sandwich it's an orgasmic, life changing eating experience'

Stitchwort: OOh 'germolene' just love that smell.
I'm a 'brilliant white' fan meself.

4:11 pm  
Anonymous Blue Witch said...

Yes, it was M&S in particular that I had in mind, glad it's not just me who's noticed!

10:32 pm  
Blogger stitchwort said...

So it's not just a comment, it's a witty, articulate, individually-tailored comment?

12:53 pm  
Blogger MJ said...

Can't find your email address to send you a link. Email me please. My address is in my Blogger profile.

3:15 pm  
Blogger Saffyre said...

Oh god, my Chemistry teacher looked like Penfold!!!

9:07 am  
Blogger Le Chitelier said...

No burgundy! Hell, that's what's written on one of our colored pencils that we use to draw out the visible spectrum...well come to think of it, most of the students don't pick that color when describing the visible spectrum.

Funny how two of the visible colors are described (semi-officially?) as "indigo" and "violet". Why not just "blue" and "purple"????

Mmmmm....cobalt blue...
Can you tell that I like copper compounds? I swear I go into a trance every time I look at Benedict's Reagent.

10:39 pm  
Blogger Carlos said...

Great post and colours.

2:04 am  

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