My dear Miss Poptoe,
It is with no little pleasure that I write to inform you that my poultry cup runneth o’er. Four elegant pullets are busily engaged in reducing the population of slugs, snails and similar enemies of the gardener, and to add to my joy, yesterday one of them presented me with her first ovoid offering. Moreover, they are truly an ornamental delight; the two white birds have subtle chestnut streaks, whilst the two chestnuts are correspondingly marked with white. Would that all things could be so tastefully and optically pleasing.
My thoughts turned to such matters of aesthetics since I decided to have my withdrawing room redecorated, and with blithe insouciance gathered a collection of colour charts to browse in the cocktail hour. What I thought would help solve the conundrum of which tint would best enhance my new curtains became instead a severe source of discombobulation with a dizzying onslaught to my senses (no, nothing to do with the cocktails I assure you…they were well diluted with champagne). It started unremarkably enough with a medley of what were termed ‘neutrals’; shades as exciting as a bowl of tapioca at the Lord Mayor’s banquet, and I might add, much the same hue. But these were followed by a veritable kaleidoscope of riotous garishness. I am aware that colours are subjective – one man’s ‘zingy lime sherbet’ is another’s migraine inducing acid nightmare, and that to some the delightful ‘soda fountain shrimp’ can conjure up a grandmother’s discarded bloomers, but even so, I was, as my grandmother would say, hornswaggled.
And my dear, I could not believe the outlandish nomenclature used to describe the colours – ‘vesper bell’ and ‘urban obsession’ to name but two! It may well be that you sophisticated cosmopolitan fashionistas would recognize shades named ‘Locatelli aubergine’ or ‘crushed scrotum’, but being a provincial matron of mature years, deep purple is quite an adequate description. As well, my experience informs me that not every paint colour does what it says on the tin. For example, that gentle, comforting terracotta is as duplicitous as my bathroom scales. It has a subversive component that, as it dries, transforms its mellow warmth into sour fondant biliousness reminiscent of a splattered melange of jelly and ice cream following on overindulgent children’s party. And as for that soothing pale cafe au lait, over night it emerges in its true colour – a pernicious violent violet.
However, I have at last made my choice. The walls are to be a robust shade of putrefying corpse, whilst the ceiling will tone nicely with a paler shade of mortuary slab cadaver*. I am looking ahead here, so that when the time comes for me to be laid out in my shroud for respectful public viewing, I shall blend tastefully with the decor and be venerated for my discerning colour flair.
* ‘Ancient artefact’ and ‘Egyptian cotton’…. any the wiser?