Posted by: travelrat | May 29, 2016

Travel Theme: Neutral

This week’s contribution to the weekly ‘Travel Theme’. See more at https://wheresmybackpack.com/2016/05/28/travel-theme-neutral/

‘Did you know’ someone once said to me, eyeing my car up and down ‘that ‘Renault’ is an anagram of ‘neutral’?’

‘Hey, how about that!’ I replied ‘That’s the first time I’ve heard that one … this morning!’

I wonder, though, what’s so wrong about ‘neutral’ anyway? Yes, at first taste, it connotes boring, middle of the road, uncommitted, etc.  … but then, I remember that Ireland. Switzerland, Spain and many other places were ‘neutral’ in the Second World War, and you wouldn’t call them boring and uninteresting.

When I started doing my thing in the hills in the 1970s, the fashion was to buy gear … rucksacks, jackets and the like … in bright fluorescent colours ‘in case you needed rescuing’. But, the phase didn’t last long. Soon, the pundits were calling for quieter, more natural shades; ‘sub fusc.’ some of the older hands called it. We might call it ‘neutral’. If an emergency did arise, you could just whip out your survival blanket, which was usually an easily discernible colour.

You might call Army cammies ‘neutral’, for they enable a soldier to blend into his surroundings and not be seen … a technique used by the animal kingdom ever since the days of the dinosaurs.

Neutral is all around, if you look. The difficulty is, since I love colour photography so much, finding a picture to illustrate this little piece!

Li River_copy

The most ‘neutral’ picture I could find.

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