Cobalt polar lapis blue

Cobalt polar lapis blue

A dazzlingly variegated Greek sky. It was under such a sky, which for me also includes hyacinth blue and lilac, that I realised the Greek national flag is simply the pairing of the deep inviting blue of its sky and the blinding whiteness of its church walls in the...
Of violet eyes

Of violet eyes

Only the second example I have come across of violet eyes, never yet seen in real life. Here the 76th Earl of Gormenghast learns from his physician, Dr. Prunesquallor, that the newborn 77th Earl-to-be, Titus, has this glorious oddity. The other, also of aristocratic...
Crab-green water

Crab-green water

I think I can imagine the shade of ‘crab-green’, a deep dark place where this wily old conger eel escapes its enemy the seal.  Jarrk himself is so strong that he has no enemies, allowing him, in Williamson’s take, to be gentle. Except where it comes...
Purple-grey sea

Purple-grey sea

Storminess at sea, as in the sky, can be purple-inked. ‘Beyond the ragged horizon of the purple-grey sea…’   Source: Henry Williamson, Tarka the Otter: His joyful water-life and death in the two rivers, illus. C.F. Tunnicliffe (Harmondsworth: Puffin...
Scent as colour

Scent as colour

I like metaphors that use one of our five senses to convey another – here a visual image serves as a metaphor for a scent. And I must still be a child as vivid colours catch my attention more than ever. ‘The scents of the ducks were thick and luring as...
Purple-streaked stems

Purple-streaked stems

I never knew that hemlock grew alongside English fields, Of purple hue, it poisons you, and life to death it yields.   ‘He ran with them to where, amidst the purple-streaked stems of hemlock, the old man was standing on the shillets.’   Source: Henry...
Of kingfisher colours

Of kingfisher colours

This description of a Halcyon Kingfisher packs a rainbow of colour metaphors, from pink to green to blue and brown.  Elsewhere the book describes hunted kingfishers strung up sans wings, their exquisite feathers being used for female fashion plumage. And that lovely...
Ribbon when the colour’s gone

Ribbon when the colour’s gone

Mrs Poyner offering up her pithy view of many wives in the neighbourhood, during a good-natured discussion with her husband.  He settles their difference of opinion by assuring her he married well. ‘The poor draggle-tails o’ wives you see, like bits o’ gauze...
Petunia-coloured horn

Petunia-coloured horn

I liked this description of an old-fashioned gramophone loud speaker, which I associate with the image of a Jack Russell sitting next to, listening to ‘His Master’s Voice’.  However, since petunias come in a rainbow of colours, I am wondering what...

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