12 December 17: Chasing sunsets

A few years ago, my second-in-command and I took up the pursuit of sunset-chasing. Arriving back from school, it dawned on us that the sky was offering up something special that night: the perfect sunset. We’d drop everything, jump in the car and drive down to the Thames in the hope that we hadn’t missed seeing swans and bridges silhouetted against the fading light. As I photographed this delicious peach melba sunset yesterday (top left), something dawned on me. WhilstRead more

11 December 17: Beauty in imperfection

One Christmas about six years ago, I bucked my own trend and bought a fake tree. I was in the midst of a personal maelstrom and I think I viewed the symmetrical orderliness of it as a symbolic antidote to the chaos. I know they do the trick for many (and I really do adore my baby pink kitschmas tree, which I’ll unveil shortly) but I have to confess that its goody-two-shoes perfection actually did my head in. I loveRead more

10 December 17: Why are they red?

I spotted this gaggle of fire trucks at a car boot sale and it got me wondering – ‘Why red?’ Henry Ford famously painted all his early motor cars black, and rumour has it that fire trucks were red so they could be visible amidst a sea of dark vehicles to encourage drivers to make way. Studies have since shown that, in spite of red being the colour we first see on the spectrum and technically the most visible, it’sRead more

9 December 17: THAT’S how to cut bread

Hello from a lazy Saturday at The Colour File HQ. I spotted this verdigris-coloured enamel bread bin at a car boot sale last weekend and it got me thinking about so many things. I thought about how my grandmother (who had an enamel bread bin similar to this) cut a whopping great white loaf the Welsh farmhouse way. She’d butter it first before holding the loaf towards her and cutting it from the side (don’t try this at home) thenRead more

8 December 17: Beautiful Au

What’s the most fun fact you learnt at school? At risk of sounding like a total dweeb, I loved the mind-blowing revelations in science, from unfathomable cellular biology through to the origins of element symbol names such as Pb (lead, hence ‘plumber’). The symbol for gold, Au, comes from the old Latin name for gold, aurum, which means ‘shining dawn’ or ‘glow of sunrise’ – almost as beautiful as gold itself. The word ‘gold’ comes from the Proto-Indo-European ‘ghel’ meaningRead more

7 December 17: The power of blue

Happy Thursday, folks. There’s nothing like studies and facts to make my day. I’m definitely more of a ‘fact is stranger than fiction’ kind of girl (an ex- one told me my tombstone will read ‘A study says’. I do hope so). Yesterday I read that the world’s favourite toothbrush colour is blue and that weight lifters apparently lift more when they work out in a blue room. Today feels like it could be one of those fact-hunting days. IRead more

6 December 17: That strange sunny day

On a grey December day, where the sun appears to have called in sick, my thoughts are returning to that strange sunny day back in October. Remember it? Red Saharan sand sun, yellow-orange skies, freaked-out birds unable to sing while they worked out what the heck was going on? I was recently told that that day’s strangest of colours influenced colour trending experts who held key meetings around that time (colour inspiration apparently comes from everywhere) so I’ll be fascinatedRead more

5 December 17: Book news!

Hello my fabulous InstaFriends. I have news: I am writing a book. I can’t say too much more at this stage, other than to say I’m excited and terrified in equal measure, but you have to break an egg to make an omelette, feel the fear and do it anyway, and all other assorted sayings that express the scary importance of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. I’m looking for some gorgeous UK spaces to shoot a day ofRead more

5 December 17: The joy of Russian dolls

I remember playing with a friend’s Russian dolls as a child and never tiring of the thrill of cracking through each layer to finally find the baby. Matryoshka (from ‘mother’) dolls have been around since the 1800s and are traditionally painted in vibrant colours. This one I recently saw (top left) was very simple, style-wise, but often they are carrying something symbolic in their hands. For example, a loaf of bread (a symbol of welcome in Russia), a bowl ofRead more

4 December 17: My thoughts on grey

I’m not the biggest fan of grey. At a time when grey interiors are still popular and grey is the third most popular car colour after white and black, I know I buck the trend (my second-in-command recently declared it to be his favourite colour. Never work with animals or children). After learning that Brits who have grey bedrooms are the ones who apparently spend the most time shopping online in bed, I’ve been trying to imagine why. Are theyRead more

3 December 17: A room of colour magic

Once in a while I have one of those colour moments that I know is likely to stick in my head forever. Joy of joys, I had one last week. On a visit to @denbypottery I was taken to an office lined with hundreds upon hundreds of little pots glazed in different colours. The colours on these little pots of loveliness are expertly mixed by Denby’s chief recipe creator who has possibly the Best Job In The World. Some of them makeRead more

2 December 17: Deep blue secrets

I once wrote an article about how marine life is helping us to cure disease. They may look like they’re simply anchored to a rock or snaffling around on the seabed, but species such as the cone snails and deep sea sponges are helping modern medicine to fight the likes of cancer and chronic pain. Then there’s the stunning purple-blue sea whip plant, Pseudopterogorgia elisabethae, whose extracts from its delicate fronds have been shown to speed up wound healing. Amazing.Read more