Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Hinkypunk is grey

It's not often you go to B&Q and find yourself confused, utterly transfixed and smirky. With my little girl pulling at my sleeves, I found I could not pull myself away from the vast wall of paint swatches. It was here that I found my treasure of the week.

Choosing paint colours is one of my favourite things to do, even if I don't have anything to actually paint. And, like buying lipstick, I have always found the naming of the colours interesting. It's a cliche that they're misleading, but most of the time they make sense don't they - duck egg blue, candy pink, slate grey, China blue - all descriptive names which hint at the shade you can expect.

Well, someone at B&Q has gone a step beyond this, someone has been very creative. Surrealistically naming the paint colours for the Valspar range. I'm not talking about the slightly more eccentric names we've all heard of - sweet shadow, motor city blue, Dutch liquorice, rare wine - no, even these make sense to me. I'm talking surreal, cryptic, absurdist!
When I say 'Pan's Flute' what colour do you think of? What about 'Mum's The Word'? Or 'The North Wind Blows'? What colours immediately come to mind? What visions of colour do these words create?
The one labelled 'Hinkypunk' made me actually laugh out loud, but I Googled it when I got home, and it's actually a mythical being with one leg who appears as smoke. So, of course (tch!) Hinkypunk is grey. But what about 'Lisa's Way'? Who is this Lisa person and what colour is her way! Am I ignorant of a major thoroughfare in London which is famously painted a unique shade of grey?
Then there's 'Count The Ways', 'Cuddle Bug' and 'Travelling Minstrel', these could be any colours of the rainbow. Imagine if Elton John walked into his dressing room and announced that he wouldn't play until his dressing room was painted in 'Count the Ways'? His army of assistants would have to meditate for hours, get into a tantric trance and consume every drug going to get even close to understanding what colour this could possibly be. I'm not judging the person who named these colours, I think anyone that can hold down a job while chugging whiskey is a genius, and they did brighten up an otherwise boring trip to B&Q.

So here's the quiz, see if you can guess the colours to these brilliant descriptions....

1. Thick as thieves
2. Fleecy Dreams
3. Elevation
4. Home from Home
5. Travelling Minstrel
6. Cuddle Bug
7. Count the Ways
8. Mino's Eye
9. Gilded Endive
10. Aspiration
11. Naïveté
12. Hello Prism
13. Mum's the Word
14. Pan's Flute
15. The North Wind Blows
16. Lisa's Way

Answers if you care: 1 brown; 2 pinky peach; 3 light blue; 4 turquoise; 5 muddy green; 6 light green; 7 red; 8 green; 9 cream; 10 greenly cream; 11 pink; 12 pink; 13 grey; 14 grey; 15 grey; 16 light blue.

As a little 'after thought' to this little post, I should let you know that there is, in fact, a colour called 'New Black' and one called 'Very Black'. If you don't know the difference between the two, then quite frankly you're just not cool!

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