There are many reasons why I feel very lucky to have the job that I do. You know, working with great young people, wonderful colleagues, feeling that I make a difference, blah blah. But one of the major advantages of my job is that I often get to colour in, and it is totally and utterly legitimate. For example, the Greenaway medal shadowing. Obviously we produce some artwork based on the books we have looked at. Obviously I need to "model" for the kids what they are expected to do, by spending many, many hours on a very detailed, but always disappointingly mediocre, piece of art. The Teachit reading advent calendar which I've mentioned before is another good opportunity for colouring in.
My own kids also provide a decent chance to get some illicit colouring into my life. A doesn't particularly like it, and so I often step in to "help" her with any homework that requires colouring. I think I coloured in the vast majority of her First Communion activity book.
At the weekend I bought the colour-in map of the UK from Pheonix Cards from a stall at our school fete. I've been eyeing this up for ages, and had decided against buying it, as we already have an Usborne UK map sticker book which we add stickers to when we go on a UK holiday or day trip. However, upon seeing the colour-in map in the flesh, I just knew I had to have it. I told myself it was so we could add notes, which we don't normally do in the sticker book; but really it was because then I could colour it in.
A did the puffin's beak, and C did a tiny section of Stonehenge. I, on the other hand, have coloured the South of England in its entirety and much of Wales. I have to admit that when the kids were in bed this evening, I have done a little more. I don't even feel guilty. Colouring-in is ace.
Every so often I think of the Rob Newman sketch where he calms himself down from a state of high anxiety by doing a Paint-by-Numbers on an easel. I used to laugh at this, but always a little bit self-consciously.
Ah well. There are much less healthy and much less expensive ways of relaxing. You could buy a fair few colouring books for the price of a spa break...
A fellow colouring enthusiast has recommended The Secret Garden Colouring Book by Johanna Basford, which might well have to go on my Christmas list. She has also recommended not letting the kids anywhere near it. A woman after my own heart...