In praise of orange…

My love affair with orange is nothing new. Well, not the colour orange, anyway. I love orange enough to have written about it in my novel ’embrace’ that I finished back in 2014.

Orange. It was all the rage this season. As a child, she’d hated those orange candlewick bedspreads in the spare room and yet she had somehow allowed Jana to persuade her to buy this new season canvas parka in exactly the same shade. The way it clashed with the walls in this train carriage made Kristina feel on edge. The colour scheme in here had clearly been selected by the railway company long before orange had made a comeback and brown had become the new black. The swirling patterns in shades of beige were as dated as a seventies’ living room.

11-5-10Orange has made a comeback. You see it in all the shops. Not that I would wear it, I don’t think. But I love my orange cushions, orange mugs, orange notebook…

And then I was reading about star signs and chakras and I’m pretty sceptical about all that stuff – and I read how I correspond to the element of Fire (that orange glow, that fire in the belly) with characteristics that include ‘warmth and friendliness, enthusiasm and zeal to inspire others to believe in themselves and their opinions’. And I could recognise myself in that – and on occasions, the accompanying ‘inflated ego’. And I wondered, just wondered, if that was why I was drawn back time and time again to the colour orange.

But it’s not just the colour. Just before Christmas, I fell in love with the smell too. My shower gel of choice was always coconut, then raspberry…and then I got an orange shower gel from somewhere and was hooked. Tangerine, clementine, blood orange, satsuma – whatever you want to call it – I love them all! And I am training my nose to tell the difference! Then, when my sister-in-law was in hospital, I used her Body Shop Satsuma hand sanitizer and had to dash into a Body Shop at King’s Cross Station on the way home to buy one of their amazing Satsuma hand creams.

11-5-8And then there’s the whole range of Sanctuary Spa products that smell divine. My son treated me to a huge gift box for my birthday. Orange packaging and orange aroma – my joy is well and truly complete. That smell just immediately transports me somewhere else – somewhere hot and sunny and carefree and brimming with life and vitality. It makes me smile.

I’m not trying to convince you that orange will do it for you too. What I’m saying is that I spent far too many years being sensible and economical and functional. Grabbing the nearest and cheapest shower gel in the supermarket. Wearing co-ordinating shades of grey. Now I feel I have opened up my senses and learnt to respond. I see more clearly. The smells are all more intense. I listen, truly listen, to the birds singing in the trees. I try to really savour the food that I eat. I look forward to a foot massage from my daughter every Sunday night. Life is too short to let all this good stuff pass us by.

So for me, at the moment, for all sorts of reasons, it’s orange.

What does it for you?

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