Times and Tides of a Beachwriter is brought to you today by the colour red, chosen by Rowena who was very happy to pick up a red Alpha Romeo at auction. You can visit her blog here.
Red is bold, certainly not modest, it adorns the flags of many countries. We obey it at traffic lights and the only time it hides is when it is safely inside our bodies; blood red is ready to gush out of us at any opportunity.
Red is iconic; double decker buses, the Red Arrows of the Royal Air Force and the Forth Bridge. It tells you where to post your letters, where to find a fire extinguisher and still occasionally where to make a phone call. Red tells us when it is Christmas.
Photographers love a splash of red; a boat in the harbour, a red coat walking in the snow. A red front door looks distinguished.
Red is one of the three primary colours and one of the four colours humans like to use for organising people. At school I was in the red team, Saint George. Saint Patrick was green, Saint Andrew blue and Saint David yellow.
We are not urged to eat our reds, as we are with greens, but tomatoes and red peppers are healthy and brighten the plate up.
Long before Christmas existed mid winter was hailed by red berries. In spring it feels a little subdued, except for tulips, but summer brings Mediterranean scarlet with geraniums ( pelargoniums ) and romance with deep red roses. In autumn red reaches for the skies as the leaves turn.
Much of the earth is red. When I was a child my mother told me Devon had red soil, I could not imagine such a thing, but white chalk cliffs turn to red as you go west along the Jurassic Coast. Northern parts of Australia are red, such as the Pilbara, known for its ancient red landscapes and vast mineral deposits; red also means rich in iron ore. Other continents all have their unique red landscapes.
Alas red, through no fault of its own, is a political colour. Who decided communism should be red? Nature used red first.