Seeing colours

Sometimes there’s a lot of colour around but it’s just a little hard to see. Several months ago, my husband took this photograph, but I didn’t see it until a few days ago.Tynemouth rust

This was taken on a winter’s day on the harbour wall at Tynemouth in the North East of England. The day was uniformly grey – grey skies, sea, castle and other buildings – and very cold and windy. We took an exhilarating walk to the end of the harbour wall which projects out into the sea by quite a long way. Along the way, my husband took various photos, but this is the bes of them. At one time a gantry crane ran the distance of the harbour wall, presumably for lifting things off boats. The remnant of this system is the heavily corroded rails running along the stone of the wall. The rusting of the rails has resulted in this beautiful colouration of the rail and stone. There is such a wide range of hue in this photograph – and yet the overwhelming impression of the day was that it was saturated with grey.

The memory of this November day is so much at odds with the place where we’ve spent the last week or so. In the South of France, the skies have been deep blue most days, there is wonderful spring vegetation, and lots of amazing colours on our plates too. We were there during the brief cherry season, and apricots and other colourful fruits were starting to appear. I suppose it’s because I was born and brought up in the North of England that I’m so drawn to the greys, the cold and the wind of the North East coast (to be fair it’s not always like that; sometimes the sun shines). But I do appreciate the ability to travel and to appreciate the contrasts.

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