Friday, August 22, 2008

A green-light day

Riding to work has been such a pleasure since I got back from New York. The streets are Summer-quiet, term-time-quiet, August-quiet - and with so little traffic I can sail straight through most of the minor intersections (don't tell the police). After a few weeks of trudging through my cycling routine, this morning I seemed to breeze through the city, hardly raising a sweat, through a dream run of green lights. Don't you love that?

Driving through New York, all the lights along the avenues turn green at once, so that the taxi drivers fang it the minute the light changes to catch as many as they can. Well, at least our taxi driver did on the way to Harlem one Sunday, but I'm fairly sure he was high at the time, given his breezy disregard of lane markings, barriers, cones, pedestrians and police cars. I don't blame him; even as a passenger, that endless string of green lights appears in front of you and your foot involuntarily presses to the floor.

So, I am feeling a little better than I was and had a nice time in Sweden with my newly health-conscious brother (the same brother who used to survive on two minute noodles and cocktail franks), and I am off to the Edinburgh festival this weekend which I am excited about. It is a 4.5 hour train trip, but I am well equipped with the most gigantic book known to mankind, second only to the bible: Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Good grief!

I have so much to look forward to at the moment. Going to see middle bro and his girlfriend in Sweden this weekend. My parents coming over to visit in September. More sunshiney days as Summer eases towards Autumn. Rediscovering my favourite things about London.

And yet... lately I have been slumped in a terrible state which some people call the Blues, but should more accurately be called the Greys. Blue is my least favourite colour, but it still makes me think of blue skies, cornflowers, blueberries, Tiffany boxes, plums, butterflies, and ponderous whales gliding through the Big Blue. I guess when people talk about "the blues", they mean deep, dark, almost-black blue. The colour of a bruise on dark skin.

But for me, when I am feeling like this, the world is leeched of colour. Or rather, the colours are there, bright and beautiful as always, but something in my brain stops me from taking delight in them (I usually inhale colours like most people inhale the smell of freshly ground coffee. Although I am quite partial to that too). For a highly visual person, losing your appreciation of colour is a very serious business indeed. It is the first sign that all is not well with me, emotionally. The second is the loss of my sense of humour, and with it, my ability to laugh at myself. I feel terribly exposed without it.

Usually I don't write when I am feeling like this, but this particular slump is proving quite stubborn and there is a selfish part of me which hopes that through the act of confessing, my mood will lighten (admitting you have a problem is the first step in overcoming it, yada yada). Does anybody know what the second step is? Irritating your friends with incessant sighing? Eating your own body weight in Green & Black's ice cream? Writing exceedingly self-centered blog entries?

Maybe I can live with grey for now. Maybe I need to learn to appreciate shades of grey more. Grey is actually a great colour for a designer to work with, bringing a sophistication to the page and making the other colours pop out that much more (cool grey, white and bright yellow is my favourite 60's-retro-futuristic colour combo). Who knows - maybe my Grey cast makes me appreciate colour that much more when it finally lifts. After all, too much colour can give a person a headache.
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