I am 40 years old and I find colouring-in a very relaxing activity. Is it just me? It is almost midnight on Thursday 23 May 2013 and I have vowed I will not leave the library until blasted chapter four has been drafted and emailed to my poor long-suffering supervisor.
My shift finished at 9pm. Since then I have eaten my dinner, watched some Stephen Fry in Planet Word, and it is currently playing in the background for my listening pleasure.
While I was ‘watching’ Planet Word, I was colouring-in.
I went in search of a colouring-in book on the weekend. It wasn’t until tonight that I have been able to christen it. I have been using colouring-in as a relaxation technique since 2001 during the long and emotionally-draining job hunt on my arrival in post-9/11 London.
Tonight, I think it has been more about avoiding the inevitable. (It’s always something with me.)
However, maybe, after the relaxation of bringing some colour into the apple-picker’s life and listening to the wonderful Stephen Fry, I might feel able to get on with this blasted chapter and send it through the virtual world to my supervisor before I pass out from tiredness, or boredom, or frustration.
As someone who can’t draw to save her life, well, not anything beyond the basic geometrically unrealistic house and an amateurish cartoon smiley face, I get great pleasure from selecting the colours to bring a little colour-in to technicolor glory. I feel ill-equipped at present as I only have a selection of 12 pencils.
Pencils are my preferred colouring-in tool. When I am doing it right, I will have a pencil box full of colours and variations on the theme. The sight of a large packet of colour pencils gets my colouring juices going. The choice between the 5 variations of red or blue is part of fun.
I am pretty fussy when it comes to the colouring-in book. I am not really a fan of these ones tied to kids’ telly shows and films. They don’t feel right for colouring. I am a girl of the 1970s and we had certain styles of colouring-in books that just enhance the whole experience of colouring-in. I have been on what was fast becoming a fruitless search for the right colouring-in book until the weekend when I popped into a newsagency to see what they had to offer and amongst the undesirable telly/film tie-in colouring books, I found it. Thick black lines forming large and happy figures that cry out for a colouring-in by the enthusiastic colourist.
It sounds like the screening episode of Planet Word is drawing to its inevitable conclusion and I vowed that I would get underway with some writing of my own when that happened. And I mean thesis-writing, not bollocks-ing away on my blog.
I leave you tonight with my current colouring creation. I promise that it will be the only relax-ating colouring I do tonight and this morning, (which begins in 5 minutes). I will, now, finally, return to blasted chapter 4. (That is not its official title by the way. No, it’s ‘Inside the Paris Hôtel-Dieu: The effect of the May 1505 Reform’ actually.)