Sunday, 1 July 2012

One of Those Grey Areas

Some may remember this summer for its deluvian weather and the melancholy wash-out of most social functions. We are going to have the worst fruit harvest in living memory because of the late frost.
Others may remember it as a depressed year when there was no good news about anything - from sport to the economy.
I will remember it as the year of the grey car. For some time now, everybody has been buying grey cars. Some of them may be called "silver" or "slate" or even "graphite" but they are basically grey. Whether they're Vauxhall or Volkswagon, Ford or Fiat, Porsche or Peugeot, Audi, Toyota or Volvo, the vast majority of newish cars on the road are now grey. It is a boring non-colour that expresses our national mood of dullness, depression and resignation.
Have we got chromophobia?
When you look for your car in a car park these days you are confronted by a vista of grey, grey and grey. It looks like an old black and white film from the 1930s. It is very confusing and I can't see the point of it. I like cars to be all different bright colours, preferably with jolly patterns painted all over them to make a statement. If all the cars on the road are the same colour, it makes it harder to identify a vehicle for any purpose. You can be standing waiting for somebody to turn up and you think, "Ah, there's a grey car, it must be them," but there are twenty other grey cars.
There must be many situations when a grey car is less visible than a brightly coloured one and therefore more dangerous. In poor light, mist, heavy rain or snow, a grey car blends into the background and that's inviting accidents.
I hope this phase passes soon. I want to see cars in cheerful shades of blue, green, white, yellow, red and violet, and people driving them with a smile on their faces.
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