This prompt was the one I was looking forward to the least. My mind flitted between ‘twee’, ‘Gollum’, and ‘that African detective series I haven’t read’, which would probably have circled back round to ‘twee’. All of which suggests that I am far too cynical to be allowed on Instagram, but there we go.
So I proceeded down the Tolkien track, got to ‘dragons’, and concluded that dragons would do. The first dragon I found had banded with a rhinoceros, a Wild Thing (just visible behind the rhinoceros), and a teddy to guard an empty Martini bottle, souvenir of my university days, and hoard nail varnish.
Let us assume that the nail varnish is precious, and see what it tells us. Some are just clear, and some don’t have names. And not all of them made it into the photo. But the rest, oh my.
- Double Decker Red
- Well, this is clearly about buses, which are a huge part of my life. I am not, as it happens, hugely interested in red double deckers, though that doesn’t stop them queueing up outside my officer window. I suspect there’s also a message about twice as much red being twice as good.
- See Through Ivory
- Ivory is precious, yes, but its preciousness is something that needs to be seen through.
- A cold blue planet, made of gas. Or the god of the sea.
- Exists as a) a newsletter in Nebraska; and b) this nail varnish. Nothing else. I put it into an anagram solver, which couldn’t suggest much either. Ben Line (a steamer company), and his friend Ben Lien (a Minnesota politician). Blennie – a family dog, several generations back, I believe. Perhaps it’s the Neb Line. You take the Neb Line to Neptune.
- I am wearing this at the moment; it’s fantastic. It’s purple in some lights and greeny gold in others. Zeitgeist: the spirit of the time. The spirit of the time can be looked at from different directions, and it will look very different depending on your perspective. And of course it’s Advent (purple) looking towards Christmas (gold).
- Plum Seduction
- Mmm, plums. There’s some plum jam in the fridge. One of the things I’ve been working at on and off over the past year or so has been really enjoying food.
- Not a precious metal, but a very useful one. A good conductor. Tarnishes to a rather nice green. And have you read Pigeon Post? ‘Gold dissolves in aqua regia…’ It may turn out that one is actually looking for copper, not gold. This colour is actually quite a bit darker than real copper.
- Queen of Hearts
- Well, we know all about her. This one is a really deep crimson which comes out beautifully glossy.
- Deeply Dusk
- An annoying one; it’s not deep at all and you have to apply several coats to make it remotely dusky. Meanwhile, dusk falls fast and is gone to darkness just as quickly.
- Raspberries are definitely treasure. The best fruit in the world, if you ask me. When I was little we had a whole fruit cage full of raspberries. Those were good days. Come to think about it, there’s raspberry jam in the fridge, too.
- Ferris Wheel
- I call it a Big Wheel, myself. I’ve been thinking about different terms for fairground rides in the context of You’ll Never Walk Alone. I would call the ride with horses and brass poles ‘gallopers’, ’roundabout’, and ‘merry-go-round’ before I’d call it a ‘carousel’; but they’re all talking about the same thing. This feels significant. Meanwhile, there’s a Wheel at Parker’s Piece; and Cambridge is so flat that you can see it from a long way away.