50-something shades of blue

Fifty shades of grey? Not a chance. I am confronted with 50 shades of blue, at least 50, every day. Sometimes it seems that I have seen all 59 shades of blue (that’s apparently how many there were at last count) in a day. 

A symphony of blues: A selection from a couple of days of taking notice

The names are delightful. Try “zaffre” for a deep moody blue, “electric indigo” for a pulsating purplish blue, and “phthalo blue” for a strong blue that makes me think of loyalty.

I’d never seen a blue like the one I saw on board a catamaran near an island of Mauritius once – perhaps it was “Egyptian blue” – and I’ve never seen it since. And from that rich jewel-like hue, shoals of flying fish emerged. It was the stuff of dreams.

Right now, I can see a “baby blue” sky, fading to “powder blue” as it reaches the horizon. The sea, at the horizon, is “tufts blue” now, gradually blending to “Bondi blue” closer to shore. Yesterday, I noted a definite “tiffany blue” in the breaking waves. Often, there are various tones of grey or green, or both, woven into the blue.

In any hour, I can be confronted with an entire symphony of blue. And I bet that if you looked, you would see blues that I can’t begin to make out.

A good colour

It’s a good colour to be confronted with. Blue, they say, encourages calmness and serenity (can always do with that). But, careful, blue is said to also create feelings of sadness or aloofness. Hence, the saying, “the blues” – although I think that this gives this magnificent colour a bit of a bum rap.

Musicians seem to have a bit of a penchant for blue, and it is, of course, the name of a genre that is a lot about sadness.

There was that Elton John song, “I guess that’s why they call it the blues”. “Time on my hands could be time spent with you” … mmm, definitely “the blues”. And did you know (I didn’t) that there was a band called The Shades of Blue, whose 1966 song, “Oh How Happy”, was something of a hit?

Let’s not even get started on green: there are 64 known shades of green. And there are 15 shades of white (“honeydew” could describe that paleness just above the horizon).

It’s enough to make your head spin, in the nicest way.

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