How kind of our landlord to provide me with a pink kayak to go with my pink bike!
I wasn’t one of those little girls always to be found in pink princess outfits, with pink ballet shoes or dolls clothed in every shade of pink. My preference for pink is something that crept up on me with age, like wrinkles and middle-aged spread. In fact I can date it to the mid 2000s when I chose a baby-pink bicycle over the British-racing-green ( I liked both so persuaded my husband to buy the green one ostensibly for himself). Pink represents a feminine aspect that the tomboy child in me never wanted to acknowledge, something soft, and yes, pretty.
A lot of Bermuda is pink, from houses to buses, sand and sometimes even clouds. The man-made pink seems to have been a 19th century introduction, the earlier homes mostly as white as their rooves, not the assorted pastels found today. The pink became a status symbol, the wealthy having their external walls painted with lime mixed with oyster shells and iron oxide for pigment – conch-pink walls with white quoins and sage green shutters.
When I was 11, as part of the entrance exam for my school, we were interviewed in groups of four and near the beginning of that very scary day we were asked to read aloud from Gerald Durrell’s “My Family and Other Animals”. My passage included the description of his family home in Corfu:
“…nestled a small strawberry pink villa, like some exotic fruit lying in the greenery … the villa was small and square, standing in its tiny garden with an air of pink-faced-determination.”
The image was alien to my 11 year old self brought up in Reading with Victorian red brick and 1970s concrete. Internet and photographs meant it was less of a surprise when I landed on Bermuda some 40 years later and now pink buildings are part of the background of island life. It’s a background that contributes to a sense of softness, a marshmallow quality to my life out here.
I have talked about pink sand before (see Coral), red foraminfera that grow around corals and get crushed with skeletons of other marine organisms; some days it is pinker than others, it depends on the light. You can buy small glass jars of this pink sand for just $3 and one Bermudian jeweller has created some very pretty earrings and necklaces from compacted sand in silver surrounds. I don’t suggest you take your own sand off the beaches though – it is illegal to do so (remind me I need to hoover the car, it’s full of sand)
Bermuda is using pink to reignite a tourist industry – Morepink.bda – and had a random campaign last summer where things pink just appeared:
I am old enough to recall the The Pink Panther, Pink Floyd, Pink Elephants. A Pink Lady is either a gin and grenadine cocktail or a mixture of xylocaine and antacid – one of those needs a prescription! Now I am on a roll ….”the very pink of perfection” (from She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith, another schoolday memory, I believe this applied to a rather obnoxious son the mother wished to get married off )…..”I am the very pink of courtesy” Romeo and Juliet (can’t explain that one, it sounds like made-up-Shakespeare)……and this one made me smile – in Monsters Inc. faced with a pile of pink papers, “the pink copies go to Accounting, the fuscia ones …”
What is it about pink?
I like it. 🙂