Armed with only a bun for sustenance, Andrew Miles indulges in a spot of colour watching. His observations are below.
The supermarket can be an eminently dissonant place. A necessary evil; something of an endurance. But all is not lost, for as our usual café haunt was closed for refurbishment and as we had to visit the supermarket, we decided to invest in their facilities before commencing the weekly event of overfilling a metal trolley.
Luckily, this branch of J. Sainsbury’s is placed on stilts, so one parks underneath and the travellator moves you upwards bypassing the café which swiftly became my haven and inspiration for this little observation.
Built on the corner of a very busy junction controlled by traffic lights, it afforded me an indulgence that happily entertained me for the twenty minutes or so it took to consume a nice cuppa along with a Belgian bun, freshly baked in store. Whilst my wife was furiously texting several friends over their previous night’s pre-festive shenanigans, I began taking mental notes as to what was occurring outside.
This being an overcast Saturday just before Christmas, traffic was heavy and in those twenty minutes hundreds if not more vehicles, mainly cars, passed by. In general, the mainstay body style was that of the hatchback, very swiftly followed by the dreaded SUV brigade. Saloons and estate cars were very thin on the ground, literally a handful.
Any vans that passed by were white or plastered in so many decals that from thirty feet up it was difficult to ascertain what they might possibly be moving or who for. Very few HGV’s trundled past though one that did was so heavily travel stained it could’ve been hauling anything from bread to Amazon items to pig muck: the trailer that no doubt began the journey white was most definitely off-white now.
Talking colours, or perhaps more correctly, hues; for greys were in the predominant and in many different shades. When one sequence of lights held a long line of cars, after a quick slurp of tea I quickly counted that amongst the twenty three cars I could easily see, eighteen were grey, the others black. Not a single other colour existed. How dour. Manufacturers swoon over their latest baby looking ‘great in galactic grey’ though in a lineup like this, dull, dull, dull.
Whites became specks of dandruff, liberally scattered amongst the throng, an early Corolla being a highlight whereas the modern stuff looked like dirty, four wheeled white goods.
As my delicious bun was steadily consumed, other colours began to appear but not in great numbers; the great grey tarpaulin enveloped almost all. What looked either brand new or more likely fresh from the hand car wash round the corner (£6 cars, £9 SUV) a racing blue XF stood out in particular. A smattering of other blue shades were mentally noted with a leaning towards that of a sky blue.
As to a more voiture rouge, again pretty few and far between. A rare beast indeed was a clean and new shaped Mondeo estate in maroon and in a hurry. At one point a very early shaped red Audi A4 played the traffic light amber gambler but you could tell the colour was faded even up here. Mind you the vehicle in question must have been twenty plus years old; the Sheffield sun has been strong, lately…
Two orange cars both burbled away and both were Focus ST’s to no-one’s surprise. Green, well, an apple green Corsa and the marginally paler Mii though any shade darker could’ve easily merged into black at this distance. Or again, heavily travel stained. Yellow cars? None.
Silver was more rare than expected. A Škoda Superb (new shape ) was in front of a very large and black menacing machine, that of the new BMW 7 series with its huge cow-catcher grill. Probably driven by a consultant on his way to the golf course, or, hunting for roadkill. Up here it looked beastly. Back to silver and Golf’s, a Passat or two, mainly nondescript Eurasian boxes.
Time passed, the bun now in pieces and a couple of cars caught my eye not because of their singular colour but that they had two. A Renault Kadjar was bodied in orange but its roof was white. It looked quite pleasing in this otherwise grey soup. Shortly after, a Toyota C-HR had a black roof over a pillar box red body. Again, pretty stand out.
But the ‘prize winner’ had to be given to the Jeep Renegade in what I would describe as teal blue but subsequently revealed to be Bikini Blue with a black roof and bonnet stripe. Quite unusual and I offered a mental round of applause for their choice. Until a lime green version of the same Jeep hooned past just as the cherry from the bun was polished off in no uncertain manner. I almost gasped.
And with that, my (mainly grey) car colour watch was over. And my better half had not looked up once to witness any of this. Is texting more interesting than watching the world go by? Obviously..