Grey – that pretty French vintage grey, worn out and comfortable. It’s everywhere, ubiquitous, very calm and the perfect foil for anything you want to put with it.
It comes to me, sleepless in the middle of the night, in a French hotel room, That lovely Paris Grey…ahhh Annie Sloan, you found my family, you found my babies. It takes me back to those first years. There’s no colour, no sleep, tired in the middle of the night….so tired.
When the light’s gone, when everything has that uniform shade of grey, you can see, but there’s no colour at all.
So tired, so sleepy, feeding and falling asleep. Wanting to be so careful, they’re tiny, but you’re so tired and everything is so grey, there’s no light.
But at the same time, it’s perfect. It’s just us. We’re safe, we’re warm, we’re together.
It’s everywhere. Pretty French vintage grey. We recognise it during the day, that colour of the night, the comfort in the fact that it is everywhere, it really is ubiquitous, it’s the colour of the “noughties”. It’s the fashion shade de jour for interiors, it’s so familiar, like the family should be, like all this should be. Such as it is, we fall into it, it’s what we’re here for. It’s the only reason we’re here. That instinct, that feeling of creating something incredible.
If I look back, my own mother’s love for me might just as easily be wrapped up in that ghastly 70’s orange. Arghhh, the curtains. But this is my version of motherhood, it’s about my kids, but in reality it’s not about my kids at all. It’s purely about that sense of motherhood. My perception of motherhood. It’s wrapped up in them, but it’s not them. It came about as a result of them. This level of perception, this appreciation of a shade, or shades. hitherto overlooked completely. I’d tried before of course, with the pretty French vintage grey, but I just wasn’t ready. I didn’t yet see it properly. A Ghost V neck, didn’t much tick the boxes for the original mother, handed down to the next. Not quite right there either. Perhaps the baton should now be passed back, that colour would suit perfectly now. Would you like it back?
Amazing how when that perception shifts, there’s a realisation of how solid grey can be. Like the Forth bridge. Massive, Secure, Safe. Relentless even. Supportive, but all in the background, cleverly hiding it’s light under a bushel and allowing itself to act as a foil. That’s love, that’s what pretty French vintage grey is. Love.
There’s a pink one and a blue one, but I love them best in the middle of the night, when they’re both grey. When I check on them before I go to bed, when it’s just me and them – just how it started. Just a mother and a child, in the night, in the greyness, safe and warm, together. Or if I get up in the night to see if they’re ok – because I heard a noise, or had a dream, or just because. Then I check and I realise we’re all safe and warm, and grey in the dark together. Then the peace comes over me. They look like angels when they’re asleep and I remember when they were tiny. It takes me back to that knife edge between good grey and the deeper grey beneath. It’s a tightrope, to embrace the grey, but not to end up under the bell jar.
Guys, you’re not just a colour…you’re everything. I can’t distill it to a shade, a tone. It’s more than that. My life is your lives, and your lives are my life. We’re wrapped up together. We always will be, in my head, in my heart. You’ll find your own tribe later and won’t need me in the same way, but I’ll be here and I’ll be any colour you want.