Unless you’ve been living in a hole for the past couple of months, then you should know that the colouring book trend has risen. And is still rising. Apparently, millions of people find reverting back to their childhood a relaxing pastime – they can find nothing better to do bar sitting at their kitchen table with a box of crayons and a colouring book. Sadly, I’m not one of them.
When I was given Johanna Basford’s smash-hit colouring book Enchanted Forest for Christmas, I was overjoyed. I get stressed really easily – I’m that person, who when five minutes late for anything, will go into major panic overdrive and start hyperventilating – so I’m eager to adopt anything that’ll help me calm the hell down. But this book did a darn sight more than calm me down. It bored the living daylights out of me.
I’m sorry, but colouring in leaves and flowers for an entire bleedin’ page is not my idea of fun. Eating is fun. Writing is fun. Having a debate with someone (and then absolutely crushing them) is fun. Deciding which of two green pens is best for this particular tree is not fun. Trying to manoeuvre an extra-chunky felt tip into a minuscule space is also not fun. I often take my glasses off when I’m tired, and colouring is not fun without them – especially because, with my horrific eyesight, it blurs into a random mass of shapes. In total, not fun. Or relaxing. Or anything remotely positive. I found that all of this built up and escalated until I was ready to use the book as fuel for the burning anger rising up from the depths of my soul.
I AM NOT A CHILD. (Only just though.) So what I can’t understand is how other people who are not children – unchildren? – find it entertaining to colour in mandalas, or forests, or William Morris wallpaper, that provides absolutely no benefit to their lives whatsoever. It’s boring. You’re not even creating anything; you’re just blindly following the paths forged by the original illustrator. YOU’RE CHOOSING COLOURS. THAT’S IT.
As you can probably tell, I’m not a happy bunny. To calm down, I might revert to my childhood and start playing with my Barbies. Or even buy another colouring book.
If you have an opinion (or like most people, have read this, thought ‘crazy bat’ and moved on with your life) and want to enlighten me, then please do. I need something to liven up my routine of sleep-eat-write-eat-sleep.