How do you like your toothpaste? Red and white stripes, pure white, blue? Does colour matter? Back in the olden days Lego came in red, white and grey. Now there are more than thirty colours. Plimsolls were either black or white. Now, sports shoes may be multi-coloured with vivid pink, yellow or orange soles. Elastic bands used to be brown. Mine are green, yellow, pink, purple, blue, and yellow. Ditto my paper clips.

Yesterday, when the sun appeared after days of greyness, the world was immediately more colourful with blue sky, different greens of grass and shrubs, pale yellow primroses, brighter yellow aconites and the odd bold as brass, if somewhat misguided, daffodil. A pink hyacinth has emerged in the garden, dark red rhubarb is poking up in the veg patch and a few stems of purple lavender are, bizarrely, still in flower from last summer.

When I first began taking photographs as a child, it was on black and white film. I progressed quickly to colour film and, as with colour television, the pictures took on vibrant life. Think snooker on TV! Last year a photography competition for young people in response to the pandemic resulted in the first prize being awarded to an image of a very colourfully-dressed young couple at an open window. The contrast between the colour aspect of the image and the monochrome window frame was striking.

We love colour! Be thankful for your rods and cones and that you’re not a skate – a fish that has no cones and therefore no colour vision. And next time you go toothpaste-buying, maybe you’ll be tempted to squeeze a bit from tubes to choose your preferred colour. Try before you buy. Or maybe not.

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