r, g & b

Very occasionally a television advert transcends the basic nastiness of the purpose of the medium to provide a moment of amusement or a chink of genuine insight or philosophic consideration. Paint adverts have a long history of being absolutely hideous; not only do they join the ranks of those who aren't going to get me to buy their stuff when they fill the screen with manky, smelly dogs but their "not quite right white" range of slightly off-white paints puzzled me as a child as even then it was obvious that paying slightly more for a tin of paint which wasn't quite the right colour seemed a bit daft. Leaving a tin of paint in a garage for several years provided an easy way of getting a tin of simple white paint to become ever so slightly off-white without the expense, especially when the price sticker on the original tin declared it to have only cost £1.95.

Paint names were probably being ridiculed a few days after "mud brown" was invented by someone and used as the primary pigment in the depiction of a stylised hunt on the wall of a cave somewhen but until they stop being labelled with stupid names and referred to and sold by Pantone number or hexadecimal RGB code they shall continue to be mocked. Although the enhanced cost of getting a custom-mixed colour-matched paint is likely to always make me pick the nearest available standard colour on the rare occasions when it is necessary for me to buy paint I did quite like the recentlish adverts featuring people stealing bits of items of colours they liked to take to the colour-matching machine. If only it were so simple; something the right colour for it and when it is isn't necessarily the same right colour for something else, somewhere else, somewhere else on a differently-textured surface under (perhaps most importantly) different lighting conditions.

Having said that, some colours are distinct enough to be reasonably universal, at least amongst the demographic exposed to them. Some are fairly vague: navy, royal, sky and powder blue give a vague idea of the hue and lightness within the world of blue but aren't that precise. The yellows banana, daffodil and custard very much depend on where the bananas come from and whether real or powdered custard is used (and then whether or not the eggs are from chickens which have been fed stuff to make the yolks yellowerer) and the age of the daffodils. It always seems that Past-Its-Best Victorian British Sea-side Metalwork Greenish as exhibited above is the same colour wherever it appears and whatever the weather though there are probably hundreds of shades in use whose similarity is accentuated by the similarities of the structures bearing them, their locations and the general qualities of sea-front daylight. It's not exactly a negative way to think of a colour but it would probably get someone down if all their walls were covered in that shade and they started thinking of depressing things like the backs of the houses along the seafront at Whitby or anywhere at all anywhere near or in Skegness. There's a room somewhere in Belton House which is infested with a very similar shade which was possibly originally intended to more resemble eau-de-nil or the colour of the water in the shallows of the Mediterranean on a sunny afternoon but which instead evoked mental images of horribly sunburnt pale-skinned fat people and the smell of a bin full of sugary carbonated drinks cans and chip wrappers around which a fleet of wasps are flying.

No danger of any wasps around Portobello at the moment, even on a morning which again looked and smelt suspiciously springlike. I was after a "light" themed picture for the work photo club competition so walked along the prom rather than attempting to cycle on the road on a Saturday without becoming distinctly un-calm.

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