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THE ART OF COLOUR Twenty-Seventh Edition • December 2008



3 The colour code A head start A head for figures

5 The light at the ends of the world Going green

7 The colour of whisky A veritable rainbow of colour Waiter, there’s caramel in my whisky! A golden dram

9 The colours of Scotland

Paint by colours

My, that’s a lovely insect you’re wearing!

The black knight

The Rainbow Nation

The big blue South Africa’s blue flag beaches



A real gem The economic rainbow

A colourful drive Oz re-coloured


Colourless insurance Silver sells

A real gem (cont.)


A blue-eyed boy In living colour

A century of colour


Cosmic colours


In the eye of the beholder Man in black In black and white?

The colour of love, life & everything else

The colour of music

The meaning of colour






he green and gold of our national sportsmen and women. The dense purple of the clouds of a Highveld thunderstorm. The pink of a Protea, in full bloom, on Table Mountain. The deep black of the Sutherland night sky, sprinkled with the sparkling silver of its world-renowned stars. The mossy green of the lush Drakensberg landscape… and these are just a few of the colours we think of when waxing lyrical about our country. South Africa isn’t called the Rainbow Nation for nothing and nowhere is this more prevalent than in our nationality – we have a melting pot of different cultures and races, all contributing to our land of many colours. Now throw in the colours of the House of Walker – Johnnie Walker Red Label®, Johnnie Walker Black Label®, Johnnie Walker® Green Label™, Johnnie Walker® Gold Label™ and Johnnie Walker® Blue Label™ – and you’ve got a veritable crayon box full of colour! In this issue we pay tribute to, and explore, the colours which make up the palette of our everyday lives, bring us joy or merely give us pause for interest. Be it the colour of our eyes, our hair, the colours of the cosmos or the science behind the colours of the rainbow, colour is everywhere, even when we don’t pay much attention to its worth and meaning. Welcome to this series about the world of colour, where red could be telling you to ‘Stop… and take a look at all the beauty surrounding you.’ A world where black means depth; green ‘intelligence and abundant growth’; gold ‘energy and creativity’ and blue ‘cool, calm confidence’. Whatever you seek in your life, there’s a colour to match and inspire. We hope we will have inspired you. So, pour yourself a dram of your favourite colour Johnnie Walker® whisky and read on. Keep Walking

Sindiswa Mbude The House of Walker

“I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way, things I had no words for.” Georgia O’Keeffe


“The best colour in the whole world is the one that looks good on you!� Coco Chanel



he House of Walker brings you a refined rainbow of flavour captured in five fine blends: Johnnie Walker Red Label®, Johnnie Walker Black Label®, Johnnie Walker® Green Label™, Johnnie Walker® Gold Label™ and Johnnie Walker® Blue Label™. Whatever colour you prefer, the House of Walker won’t disappoint.

JOHNNIE WALKER RED LABEL®: THE VIBRANT BLEND Just like the colour red, Johnnie Walker Red Label® is a warm, robust and exuberant Scotch containing a blend of about 35 whiskies. The lead whisky in Johnnie Walker Red Label® is Talisker™, with its signature smoky flavour and hints of spice. Cardhu™ provides the predominate malt flavours, while grain whiskies add a warming sweet lightness.

JOHNNIE WALKER BLACK LABEL®: THE DEFINITIVE BLEND Distinctive, powerful and rich, the flavour of Johnnie Walker Black Label® is in keeping with the strength associated with the colour it takes its name from. The 40 or so whiskies to be found in Johnnie Walker Black Label® combine to form a complex, silky richness. Dry smokiness mixes with raisin sweetness; 12-year-old Cardhu™ provides a malty smoothness, while the lead whisky, 12-year-old Caol Ila™, offers up a distinctive, rich, smoky, lingering peatiness.

JOHNNIE WALKER® GREEN LABEL™: THE DISCERNING BLEND A naturally deep, mellow dram with a hint of lush green forest, shore and fruit, Johnnie Walker® Green Label™ lives up to its chosen colour. Created courtesy of a blend of vibrant 15-year-old malts, including Caol Ila™, Talisker™, Linkwood™ and Cragganmore™, all the malt whiskies in Johnnie Walker® Green Label™ are specially selected for their intense flavours and distinctive tones.

JOHNNIE WALKER® GOLD LABEL™: THE SENSUAL BLEND Malt flavours, honeyed spices, almonds, marzipan and light cream linger on the palate leaving a lasting sweetness and an even longer-lasting impression. Johnnie Walker® Gold Label™ is a distinctly smooth blend of 15 whiskies all aged for at least 18 years. With the regal Clynelish™ at its heart and age by its side, Johnnie Walker® Gold Label™ deserves its gold colour status.

JOHNNIE WALKER® BLUE LABEL™: THE RARE BLEND Johnnie Walker® Blue Label™ is created from only the rarest, most expensive whiskies in the world, bringing to life the traditional 19th century style of whisky pioneered by John Walker and his son Alexander. Every component of this dark, full gold whisky, bears the mark of blue – traditionally a colour associated with royalty and the regal stamp of approval. The whiskies used are handpicked from the finest casks of the Walker reserves and then crafted in strictly limited qualities. All of which combined, serves to intensify the oak, dark-chocolate and rich homemade fruitcake flavours of this peaty dram.




hey say that blondes have more fun, but according to a poll conducted in America by Allure Magazine, 76% of women think the first female president of the United States will have brown hair. Plus, according to a study done on hair colour commissioned by a large hair care firm in the UK, 51% of men thought brunettes were more attractive. It seems that the power has moved from blonde to brown.

• Black hair is the most common human hair colour. • Brown hair is the second most common hair colour, with brunettes normally sporting medium-thick strands of hair.

In spite of the fact that this is probably the result of continued gross stereotyping, it remains that the colour of your hair, whether you are male or female, still says something about you to the general public, albeit completely unsubstantiated.

• Blonde hair – natural blonde that is! – is a relatively rare human phenotype, occurring in approximately only 10% of the world’s population.

Blondes are stereotyped as being dumb, approachable and fun; brunettes as serious, intelligent and stable; redheads as fiery and temperamental.

• There are very few natural redheads – only 3% of the world’s population is said to have fiery locks. • The average scalp has 100 000 hairs. Redheads have the least at 80 000; brown and black haired people

Whatever your hair colour and the attributes associated therewith, you can choose to use them to your advantage or ignore them – be it on your head to Keep Walking above such stereotyping and show the world what you’re really made of.

have about 100 000-110 000; and blondes have the most at 120 000-140 000.

Sources 2008: Hair; Amazing Hair Facts; Wikipedia





he first account of the Northern Lights – also referred to as Aurora or Aurora Borealis – is to be found in a Norwegian article dating back to AD 1230. In the account, the author writes about a phenomenon observed by him and his compatriots. Returning from a fishing and hunting trip to Greenland, they arrived home bearing stories of otherworldly, if exquisite, multi-coloured flashes lighting up the skies of the extreme north. Unsure of what could cause such lights, the author came up with three possible explanations: “That the ocean was surrounded by vast fires; that the sun flares could reach around the world to its night side; or that glaciers could store energy so that they eventually became fluorescent.” Naturally, such practical theories could never satisfy the romantic soul of an intrepid hunter and over the years folklore came up with much more exciting explanations. For example, an old Scandinavian name for the ‘Northern Lights’ translates as ‘herring flash’, a name given for the Scandinavians’ belief that the Northern Lights were the reflections cast by large swarms of herring onto the sky. Still other fascinated Scandinavians would refer to “the fires that surround the north and south edges of the world”, painting a particularly vivid picture of the aurora. Finnish legend, meanwhile, held that the lights were actually foxes made of fire living in Lapland. Accordingly, the Finnish named the Northern Lights ‘revontulet’, which translates as ‘fox fires’. The fox fires, or revontulet, in question were the sparks the foxes whisked up into the atmosphere with their tails. And then there were the Algonquin who believed the lights to be their ancestors dancing around a ceremonial fire. All wonderfully evocative theories, but if truth be told, the Northern Lights, and their southern hemisphere counterpart – the Southern Lights (who would have guessed?) or Aurora Australis – can be scientifically explained as collisions of charged particles in the upper atmosphere of Earth. The energy created from these collisions is then used up as light emissions, which become visible as spectacular green, red, violet and purple light displays. Sources: Virtual Finland; Wikipedia



universal symbol of nature and all things fresh and ecologically beneficial, the colour green was considered a sacred colour to the ancient Egyptians, symbolising the hope and joy of spring. Meanwhile, in the somewhat colder climes of Scotland – where spring is not always quite so hopeful! – the Scottish Highlanders also revered the colour green, wearing it as a mark of honour.

“A blue-eyed boy” A man (grudgingly) admired because he is successful.


Japanese Emperor Hirohito, who reigned from

25 December 1926 until his death in 1989, loved to

garden so much that his birthday is celebrated in

Japan as ‘Green Day’.

Green is often recommended as a good colour

for the bedroom thanks to its tranquilising

influence on body and mind; while in the kitchen, it

is said to stimulate creativity in food preparation.

Green is also said to contain great healing power

with chlorophyll, produced by green plants,

recognised for its soothing effects on the nerves

and its positive effects on heart function.

Source: The Trivia Library

“Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it’s essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which colour to slide down on the rainbow.” Douglas Pagels


Don Paul

“The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love colour the most.� John Ruskin



hisky aficionado and mentor, Don Paul, gives his opinion on the colour of whisky to The Striding Man Society:

First impressions count and appearances do matter. These are truths that no-one can get away from, no matter how much they’d like to say otherwise. Given this, it’s no surprise that the very first thing you notice about a whisky is its colour.

WAITER, THERE’S CARAMEL IN MY WHISKY! So, you’ve heard that whisky contains caramel? Don’t

Of course, you can’t judge a whisky by its colour; nose, palate, tears, finish… all of these are what truly sets one whisky apart from another, but it is that first impression of old-gold or bright amber that draws your attention.

panic. Yes, some whiskies do contain caramel, but this is (1) legal and (2) in no way affects the flavour. The addition of legal ‘spirit caramel’ is sometimes used to darken an otherwise lightly coloured whisky, the aim being to keep the colour of the whisky consistent. To explain: due to the very miracle of nature that takes place when whisky is maturing, no two casks ever produce an identical colour

Whisky begins life as a crystal clear new spirit, but given enough maturation time, it can become as dark as treacle. Take a new spirit that spends three years in a first fill port cask, it turns practically black! Colour can give a clue to the type of cask (sherry or bourbon) used to age the whisky. Sherried whisky, for example, is usually darker or more amber in colour, while whisky aged in exbourbon casks – usually made of American oak – is usually a golden-yellow/ honey colour.

of spirit. Caramel is added to rectify this. Rest assured that such a small amount of caramel is used that it in no way affects the flavour of the whisky.

“Once in a blue moon” A very rare event. According to popular belief, a “blue moon” refers to the second full moon that occurs in a calendar month. On average, there will be 41 months that have two full moons in every century. By that calculation “once in a blue moon” means once every two-and-a-half years.

A GOLDEN DRAM The colours of Johnnie Walker’s whiskies Johnnie Walker Red Label®: bright, reddish gold Johnnie Walker Black Label : ®

deep amber with orange-gold flints Johnnie Walker® Green Label™: bright mid-gold with amber lights Johnnie Walker® Gold Label™: rich gold with old gold glints Johnnie Walker® Blue Label™: dark, full gold with shades of amber Sources: Don Paul; My Whisky Companion by Don Paul; The Quaich

One hundred percent of a whisky’s colour will arrive during the process of maturation and, depending on the type of cask and time spent in that cask, whisky colours come in an entire rainbow of colours in the brown spectrum. Champagne, chardonnay, burnt toast, light gold, old gold, deep amber, bright amber… all worthy of adding to your colouring collection.



cientifically speaking, a rainbow can be explained as “a large band of parallel stripes, blended at the rims, which displays the full spectrum of colours (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet) that make up the sun’s white light. This display appears to the naked eye when the sun’s light breaks up as it passes through the prism-like raindrops of a rain shower.” This in no way, however, does justice to one of nature’s most spectacular, some would say ‘magical’, displays of colour and light.

Aside from the legendary Irish leprechaun’s pot of gold that lives at its end, the rainbow is firmly ensconced in myth and legend: • “In Greek mythology, the rainbow was considered to be a path made by the messenger Iris between earth and heaven.” • “In Chinese mythology, the rainbow was a slit in the sky sealed by the Goddess Nüwa using stones of five different colours.” Whatever the myth and magic you believe lives within and beneath those seven bands of exquisite colour, Keep Walking towards it and you never know what you may find! Sources: National Center for Atmospheric Research; Wikipedia


“Tartan has a wonderful range from wild to formal, it’s appeal is heroic, rustic and yet, traditional.” Vivienne Westwood



here is a joke, one the Scots are no doubt heartily sick of hearing, that goes something like this: “Good thing the Scottish flag is blue and white – how would they know what the colour blue looked like otherwise?”

Grey skies, green hills and highlands shrouded in a grey fog. Slate grey cliffs. These are the colours most often associated with Scotland. The reality, however, couldn’t be further from the truth. One need only look at their impressive and richly coloured selection of tartans to see this! Red, green, indigo, violet, orange, yellow, gold, navy blue, turquoise, olive green, burgundy, plum, purple, white… all the colours of the rainbow, and then some, are incorporated into the national dress of a Scotsman. But even this riot of colour they have had to fight for. In the earliest times, Scottish tartans were produced in only the natural colours of the wool, the result being tartans in the dreary browns and grey-whites of the local sheep. Soon, however, some fashion-conscious Scots came up with a way of dying the cloth more interesting colours. Produced from boiled lichen, tree bark, plant roots, leaves and berries, the dyes were made permanent by adding a chemical ‘fixer’ called a ‘mordant’ – usually a metal salt such as alum, iron, chrome or copper. Colours depended on the time of year the plant in question was picked, the type of soil it was grown in, as well as the climate. The type of mordant, too, could also dramatically alter the colour of the dye, which served to increase the range of colours the Scots could produce for their tartans. For instance: • Heather flower tops produce a pale yellow dye when alum is used as a mordant, while chrome produces a much deeper yellow. • Dock leaves picked early in the year produce red dye when chrome is used, but yellow when alum is used. • Picked later in the year, dock leaves produce a golden-coloured dye when chrome is used, while copper produces a green dye and iron an even darker green. Still, given that the Scots had to rely on their local vegetation for resources, back then the range of colours was limited, even taking into account the magic of chemistry detailed above. Today, of course, with the advent of mechanically and chemically produced dyes, the selection is far more varied and enough to brighten up even the dullest of grey skies and ensure that the Scots Keep Walking with a spring in their step.

“Black humour” Black comedy, also known as black humour, is a sub-genre of comedy where very serious topics and events are treated in a humourous or satirical manner.

MY, THAT’S A LOVELY INSECT YOU’RE WEARING! Another dye used for centuries in Scotland was cochineal, a red dye made from the dried, dead bodies of insects called Dactylopius Coccus – parasites who live on certain cactus plants in hot climes. The Scots would get their supply from Mexico. Today, cochineal can be found in the warmer parts of the world, including South Africa, the Far East and Australia, where the relevant cacti have been replanted and their own type of parasite bred. Source: The Tartans of Scotland

“Mere colour, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.” Oscar Wilde

THE RAINBOW NATION Rainbow Nation is a spoken metaphor for South African unity. The term was intended to encapsulate the unity of multi-culturalism and the coming together of people of many different races. The term was elaborated upon by President Nelson Mandela in his first month of office, when he proclaimed: “Each of us is as intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful country as are the famous jacaranda trees of Pretoria and the mimosa trees of the bushveld – a Rainbow Nation at peace with itself and the world.” Source:




ippy types would have you believe that the wearing of your birthstone will bring you luck and soothe your soul. In fact, even some scientists attach all manner of mystical powers to what really are just pretty stones, no matter how precious they may be. Scholars believe the tradition of birthstones began with the Breastplate of Aaron: a ceremonial religious garment worn by the high priest in ancient Jewish history. The breastplate was set with 12 gemstones representing the 12 tribes of Israel and also corresponded with the 12 signs of the zodiac and the 12 months of the year.

JANUARY: GARNET Derived from the word ‘granatum’, ‘garnet’ means seed, so named for its resemblance to a juicy deep-red pomegranate seed. Garnets are said to promote strength, health and deep insight.

FEBRUARY: AMETHYST The ancient Greeks and Romans believed amethyst would keep the wearer clear-headed and quick-witted. These days amethyst, which ranges in colour from pale violet to deep purple, symbolises peace, love and happiness.

MARCH: AQUAMARINE Aquamarine is derived from the Latin word aqua, meaning water, and marina, meaning the sea. This gemstone was believed to protect sailors and guarantee a safe voyage.

APRIL: DIAMOND Diamonds symbolise strength and good fortune. Not surprising when you discover that a diamond can only be cut by another diamond; and that it can take approximately 250 tons of mined ore to produce a single stone.

MAY: EMERALD There is an ancient belief that this wonderful green stone, which symbolises rebirth, could grant its owner foresight and good fortune.

JUNE: PEARL Fresh, saltwater and cultured pearls come in a variety of colours ranging from off-white to black. Symbolising purity and innocence, pearls are said to have been one of the favourite gemstones of the Roman Empire.

JULY: RUBY Many believe rubies to be the ultimate gift of love – arousing the senses and assuring romantic success. The hardest of all the natural gemstones, bar diamonds, they come in a range of colours from vivid red to slightly purplish.

“Brown bag it” To take a lunch to work.

THE ECONOMIC RAINBOW Few would dispute that the international colour of money is green. We have the Americans to thank for that: as with many things they stormed in and dominated world markets until the stock market crash in the 1930’s forced Roosevelt to pull America off the gold standard. That’s history, though, and now we can only look towards a brighter, and more colourful, economic future. As national mints around the world rain money upon their lands, we see a beautiful economic rainbow. Today’s money is as colourful as the different countries they represent. Most of Europe uses the Euro in what is called the Eurozone. Yellow, blue, red, pink and purple make up the Eurozone’s economic exchange palette. Across the Channel from Europe lies the UK. In spite of the fact that this distance is covered in just over two hours thanks to the Eurostar high-speed train service, when it comes to currency it’s a completely different zone. Her Majesty the queen can’t have her face on the Euro so, by order of the queen, the Pound Sterling will stay. In stark contrast to the Euro, the colours associated with pound notes tend to be as dull and washed out as the weather. Luckily for the UK, however, the colour of its currency seems to have had little effect on its strength. For not too many of those colourless quid, you can buy a plane ticket to the US. Since the birth of the American dollar, the colour of all their notes (large or small) has been green – hence, ‘the greenback’. Meanwhile, did you know that the expression ‘bucks’ – referring to money – comes from the time when Americans traded in buckskins? The average age of Forbes’ 400 wealthiest individuals is 63, and where do all rich 63-year-olds go? Mauritius. The Mauritian Rupee pays homage to its exotic location with red, blue, pink, orange and gold making up a currency as colourful as the coral reefs around it. We trade sand for spice as we travel to India. India uses the Indian Rupee to pay all its Bollywood stars along with the other one billion people who reside in India. The currency uses green, orange-violet, red-orange, olive, yellow and pink on the seven notes that are in circulation. Talk about spicing things up. The Indian team often travels to South Africa to play some test cricket where they find nature plays a big role – even when paying to view the big five. Most countries use royals or presidents as the picture on their currency… South Africa, however, uses the Big Five: the R10 note is rhino-green; R20 elephant-brown; R50 lion-maroon; R100 buffalo-blue; and R200 leopard-orange. The average ATM withdrawal in South Africa is R200, which normally consists of two red lions and a blue buffalo, which makes it all seem remarkably similar to lobola… No matter what colour currency you work with, Keep Walking until you find your treasure at the end of the rainbow.


A REAL GEM (continued) AUGUST: PERIDOT Peridot is said to host magical powers and healing properties to protect against nightmares and to bring the wearer power and influence. Peridots range in colour from bright lime green to yellowish green/brown to olive green.

SEPTEMBER: SAPPHIRE According to folklore in the Middle Ages, sapphires had the power to protect your loved ones from envy and harm. Most recognisable as a medium to dark blue stone, sapphires can actually range in colour from pink, to purple, green, orange and yellow.

IN LIVING COLOUR A 1918 silent film called ‘Cupid Angling’, is the oldest film listed on IMDB as being in full colour. It is widely accepted as the ‘first’ colour film. However, colourful movies actually started appearing as early as 1895, with


Thomas Edison’s movie ‘Anabelle’s Dance’ using frames

Opals are said to promote new friendships and healthy relationships. The name of this stone is derived from the Greek word ‘Opallos’, meaning ‘to see a change (of colour)’. A name given for the opal’s ability to change colour depending on the background it is displayed against.

NOVEMBER: CITRINE Known as the ‘healing quartz’, the golden citrine gemstone apparently promotes vitality and health while encouraging and guiding hope, energy and warmth within the wearer.

DECEMBER: TURQUOISE One of the oldest known gemstones in history, turquoise is said to promote valour, strength and wisdom, turquoise is also a symbol of happiness and success. Gems can vary in colour from greenish blue to robin’s egg-blue to sky blue. Whether you have spiritual leanings or not, the fact remains: certain coloured gemstones have been assigned to certain birth months, and, if nothing else, they are remarkably pretty and guaranteed to keep shining. Sources: International Coloured Gemstone Association; Encyclopedia of Gemstones; Article Alley


which were hand-painted and tinted by artists! The actual first filming process using colour was invented in 1908 by a Brit named Charles Urban. These days, colour manifests in movies in every possible way – even in the title. •

The Colour Purple

Three Colours Red/White/Blue

Blue Lagoon

Clockwork Orange

The Green Mile

The Hunt for Red October


The Colour of Money

White Oleander

Men in Black

Black Hawk Down

“Seek the strongest colour effect possible… the content is of no importance.” Henri Matisse


he saying “My blue-eyed boy” (or girl) is often used to describe someone who displays characteristics of innocence, naivety and general good behaviour. Given that most of us arrive, screaming, into the world bearing blue or palecoloured eyes, the saying probably originates from that 100% pure innocence of the newborn. Of course, as time goes by, the blue of newborn eyes often gives way to brown, hazel, green, grey and all manner of variations on those colours. It is thought that exposure to light after birth triggers the production of melanin in the iris of the eye, which then causes the eye to darken and change colour. It can take up to three years for this process to be completed, but by the age of three the eyes have normally produced and stored enough melanin to indicate their natural shade.



Brown is the most common eye colour while only

1-2% of the world’s population has green eyes,

making it the least common eye colour.

Changes in the eye colour of adults can also

sometimes occur. This is normally the result of

exposure to the sun as sunlight triggers melanin

production in the eye, as it does to the skin.

Source: Wikipedia; The Eye Care Report

Johnny Cash

“We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their colour.� Maya Angelou



icture it: you wake up and turn on the TV to check the weather, but you can’t read the coloured weather maps – is it going to be cold or warm? You get up and make yourself some eggs on toast, but the yolks look a bit green… Are the eggs off or not? You get dressed, but you can’t distinguish which colours match with which, so you end up looking like last year’s over decorated Christmas tree. None the wiser you drive to work, but end up in a lot of trouble for not stopping when the traffic light is red: “But officer, it looked green to me!” This is what a colour-blind person might experience during a typical day. Colour blindness is a condition in which people have difficulty identifying colours. Red-green colour blindness is the most common form. Less common is blue-yellow colour blindness, where people can’t distinguish between blue and yellow, followed by complete colour blindness where people can only see black and white. Normal colour vision requires the use of special cells in the eye called ‘cones’. There are three types of cones – blue, green and red – which allow an individual to recognise a large spectrum of colours. Sometimes these cones malfunction: when this happens, a person can be classified as colour-blind. The first person to describe colour blindness was English chemist and physicist, John Dalton (1766–1844). Dalton famously developed the atomic theory, but the first scientific paper he ever wrote was about colour blindness; not surprising given that he himself was colour-blind. In honour of his research, the condition of colour blindness is sometimes referred to as Daltonism. There is no cure or treatment for colour blindness. Most people with the disorder learn to live with it and have to make lifestyle adjustments.



hile many think of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as the original Men in Black, legendary American country singer-songwriter Johnny Cash in fact first held the title. Widely considered to be one of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century, Johnny Cash (1932–2003), was known for his distinctive deep voice, his topical lyrics and his trademark all black clothing – which earned him the nickname ‘The Man in Black’. Starting out and strapped for cash, Cash and his band could not afford to buy matching outfits, so their choice of black shirts was simply dictated by the fact that it was the only matching colour they had in their various wardrobes. From then on his penchant for black grew, taking on more meaning and symbolising more political reasons (along with his lyrics). In 1971, Cash wrote the song ‘Man in Black’ to help explain his dress code: “We’re doing mighty fine I do suppose/In our streak of lightning cars and fancy clothes/But just so we’re reminded of the ones who are held back/Up front there ought to be a man in black.”

IN BLACK AND WHITE? • Everyone is colour-blind at birth. • 5–8% of men and 0.5% of women are colour-blind. • Bulls are, in fact, colour-blind. It is the motion of

the red cape that angers them, not the colour itself.

• In World War II, colour-blind men were sent on

special missions, because their inability to see

green led to an increased ability to see through or

detect camouflage.

Famously colour-blind Bill Clinton, Jack Nicklaus, Bing Crosby, Keanu Reeves, Prince William, Meat Loaf.

THE COLOUR OF MUSIC Yellow Submarine

The Beatles

White Flag


99 Red Balloons


Raspberry Beret







Pearl Jam

Blue Suede Shoes

Elvis Presley

Silver Lining

David Gray

Purple Haze

Jimi Hendrix

“The yellow press” Popular and sensationalist newspapers.

DID YOU KNOW? From 1969 to 1971, Johnny Cash starred in his own television show, The Johnny Cash Show. During this time he managed to lure a number of big names to perform on his show including: Neil Young, Louis Armstrong, James Taylor, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton (then leading Derek and the Dominos) and Bob Dylan.

Political reasons aside, Cash time and again stated that he simply liked black as his on-stage colour.


Sources:; IMDB; Wikipedia

“Black Square” by Kazimir Malevich

“Were he to land in hell, he would probably start talking about what a wonderful place it is.” Golf writer Dan Gleason speaking on the positive thinking of Gary Player.

Gary Player



n 1915 a Ukranian-born Russian painter named Kazimir Malevich would astound the art world with his painting of… nothing.

THE BIG BLUE Of the 2 585 Blue Flag beaches awarded to countries around the world in 2008, South Africa can proudly lay claim to 19! Long may our Blue Flags keep flying. According to the Blue Flag Organisation, “The Blue

Entitled ‘Black Square’, the painting is simply a black square painted on white canvas. He followed this up in 1918 with “Suprematist Composition: White on White”, a painting which was seen as the embodiment of an art movement called ‘Suprematism’, a movement actually dreamed up by Malevich himself. Malevich described this different artistic form as “the supremacy of pure feeling or perception in the pictorial arts”, a form focused purely on geometric shapes and colours.

Flag works towards the development of beaches and marinas through strict criteria dealing with water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management, safety and other services.” First flown in France in 1985, the concept of the Blue Flag has grown into a fully-fledged environmental programme. In 1987 – the ‘European Year of the Environment’ – the Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe (FEEE) decided to extend their coverage and presented the French concept of the Blue Flag to the European Commission. And so it was that

Meant to convey a feeling of infinite space rather than definite borders, ‘White on White’ is considered by some as a gorgeous depiction of weightlessness – described as a “white square floating weightlessly in a white field”. Others, meanwhile, think of ‘Black Square’ and ‘White on White’ as not art at all, rather just a cop out from a man who is said to have spent most of his painting years merely signing and resigning his works using earlier dates. Whatever your opinion on his works, Malevich was quite clear on ‘White on White’, proclaiming that he had “cracked the links and the limitations of colour”. We salute him for his confidence and certainty in the face of so much blank canvas.

in 1987, 244 beaches from 10 countries were awarded the Blue Flag.


In 2001, the Blue Flag programme went global and is now owned and run by the independent non-profit organisation Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).



SOUTH AFRICA’S BLUE FLAG BEACHES Bikini Beach, Gordon’s Bay, Western Cape Bronze Beach, Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal

ngland, 1955: Golfing legend Gary Player tackles his first professional golf tour outside of South Africa. At the end of it, he is told to get another career, as “he does not have what it takes to become a successful golfer”. The USA, Augusta National Golf Club, April 1961: Gary Player, determined to Keep Walking, and keep playing, in spite of the discouraging 1955 criticism, becomes the first foreign player ever to win The Masters.

Clifton 4th Beach, Cape Town, Western Cape Dolphin Beach, Kouga Municipality, Eastern Cape Grotto Beach, Overstrand Municipality, Western Cape Hawston Beach, Overstrand Municipality, Western Cape Hibberdene, Hibiscus Coast, KwaZulu-Natal Humewood Beach, Nelson Mandela Metro, Eastern Cape Kelly’s Beach, Ndlambe Municipality, Eastern Cape Kings Beach, Nelson Mandela Metro, Eastern Cape

Nicknamed ‘The Black Knight’ – ‘Black’ for his trademark penchant for wearing all black on the course and ‘Knight’ for his unfailing courtesy – Player would go on to become arguably one of the greatest golfers of all time. Given his personal mantra being “The harder you practice, the luckier you get,” it’s not hard to see why he went from being the son of a gold miner in Johannesburg, to being remembered as one of the Modern Triumvirate, along with the highly revered Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.

Kleinmond, Overstrand Municipality, Western Cape Stilbaai, Hessequa, Western Cape Margate, Hibiscus Coast, KwaZulu-Natal Marina/San Lameer, Hibiscus Coast, KwaZulu-Natal Mnandi Beach, Strandfontein, Western Cape Ramsgate, Hibiscus Coast, KwaZulu-Natal Umhlanga Rocks, eThekwini, KwaZulu-Natal Wells Estate, Nelson Mandela Metro, Eastern Cape Westbrook, eThekwini, KwaZulu-Natal

Gary Player ended up winning nine Major victories in total: three Opens (he was the only golfer of the 20th century to win a British Open title in three different decades); one US Open; two PGA titles; and three Masters – throwing in a Grand Slam for good measure (one of only five players to have achieved this). Add to this tally thirteen South African Open titles, seven Australian Open titles and a slew of various other championship wins and you’ll reach a total of 163 tournament victories, 63 more than the man acknowledged as the greatest golfer ever, Jack Nicklaus.


“Speed kills colour... the gyroscope, when turning at full speed, shows up grey.” Paul Morand



hatever colour car you drive, it matters little against the only thing that really counts: that you do so responsibly and don’t drink and drive.

As for the rest, there is much to be said about cars and colour. Red Ferraris, yellow Lamborghinis, pink Cadillacs, black London Cabs… for as long as there have been cars, there have been fixed opinions on what car should be what colour and why. Of course, few of us will ever drive the above-mentioned cars. And, compared with engine specifications and extras, colour is hardly a crucial decision. In fact, according to research done by the Automobile Association (AA), a mere 1% of men and 3% of women drivers say colour’s important when choosing a car. In spite of this, there are still fixed favourites when it comes to car colours. AA research found the following to be the top 10 car colours: 1. Blue; 2. Red; 3. Silver; 4. Green; 5. White; 6. Black; 7. Grey; 8. Gold; 9. Mauve; 10. Yellow.

COLOURLESS INSURANCE Don’t be fooled into thinking that your car insurance company uses colour to determine your premium, no matter what your uncle, father, neighbour or colleague is telling you! According to research done in 2005, despite the mistaken belief by 25% of drivers that colour affects car insurance rates, it really has no effect on insurance at all. Factors such as the year, make, model and engine size are taken into consideration along with the driver’s personal information. Colour does not come into it at all.


Sources: The Automobile Association (AA); AOL Autos;


he Wonderful Wizard of Oz is America’s greatest and best-loved homegrown tale. The first totally American fantasy, it is one of the most widely read books in the world… but some people believe there is a hidden meaning behind the colours in this innocent jaunt down the yellow brick road. In 1900, L. Frank Baum and William Wallace Denslow published The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to much critical and financial acclaim. Previously Baum had tried his hand at many occupations from theatre to breeding fancy poultry before he found success with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. William Denslow, a notorious political caricaturist and illustrator, collaborated with Baum to breathe life into the iconic characters of Oz. The fast-paced, conversational novel captivated its audience and grew into a classic favourite. In 1930 The Wizard of Oz burst onto film in glorious Technicolor and again the story proved to be a resounding success, this time on screen. But as the audience follows Dorothy deep into the colourful world of Oz, they are blissfully unaware of what some deem to be a parallel commentary on America at the time.

SILVER SELLS Silver remains an enduring favourite when it comes to picking a car colour. One of the reasons for this, according to an exterior colour and trend designer for one of the world’s leading car manufacturers, is that, “There’s no question that silver on a vehicle looks incredible. When the light hits it and refracts, it shows

When the novel was written, the price level in the US economy fell by 23%, fuelling debate between a move to the gold standard and the existing silverbased system. The Land of Oz is an abbreviation for ‘ounce’ – the measurement for silver and gold. Dorothy, meanwhile, also wears magical silver slippers in the novel as she takes an adventure down the yellow (or gold?) brick road making various friends along the way. Dorothy and her new friends find their way to the rich Emerald City, symbolising the White House and the potential prosperity of the greenback. Whatever hidden meaning some believe hide in the colours of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, it has captured the minds of generations both on screen and in the written word. It is a fantasy tale that continues to transport its audience into a spectacularly rich and colourful world far, far away from the drab greyness of the daily grind.


off the vehicle’s architectural form beautifully.” Silver also has some other advantages: • It hides dirt. • Given that it’s an enduring favourite, it’s easier to

resell than other colours.

• When reselling a silver car, according to research

done in the UK, you can fetch up to 10% more

than cars of a different colour.

“Be in the red” To have negative amounts on your bank account.



he last century has seen a phenomenal shift in the way mankind has lived. From quantum physics to space travel and the Internet, the last century has seen a manic whirlwind of change that will leave the world forever altered. The influence of this tumultuous century can be glimpsed in the colours of the time, reflecting the influence of decades past.

The 1960’s

COSMIC COLOURS One day in 1608 an apprentice to Hans Lippershey found himself bored at work. Rather than asking his boss for some real work, he decided to spend his time fooling around (as one does). And so it was that, while amusing himself with Lippershey’s selection of lenses, he discovered that a certain combination of lenses made things seem closer. Fortunately for the rest of the world, the apprentice revealed his discovery to Lippershey – and in so doing revealed his poor work ethic – but what was that in the face of such an important discovery? Lippershey

Out of the restrictive conservatism of the 1950’s broke a wave of liberalism. Powered by the freedom of expression, the 60’s fostered a new counter-culture revolution that shook the very towers of government, changing political landscapes forever. The colourful clothing of the libertine hippies of the 1960’s reflected the attitude of the time: peace, love, tolerance and individuality. This bright vision of the future spilled over into art, music, design and media with cherry pink, sunshine yellow, lime green, turquoise and indigo often mixed together in outlandish patterns and psychedelic contrasts.

The 1970’s

quickly recognised the significance of the find and set about refining a design which enclosed the lenses in a tube. And so the first crude design for the telescope as we know it was invented, opening up a world of colour far beyond earth. 400 years later, the full impact of this invention was realised when, in 2004, the Hubble Telescope captured its first images of a supernova. Imagine, if you will, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Rembrandt and Leonardo Da Vinci getting together in a room and each painting one wall: sharing colours, thoughts, paint and techniques. The end result would be the greatest painting in history, but it wouldn’t even come close to the sheer brilliance of a supernova, a vast explosion in which a star, literally, blows up into a million shards of pure light and colour. Forbidden-apple red, heraldic silver, passionate purple, hot pink, deepest-wine red, periwinkle blue, chrome orange, mahogany brown, Caribbean coral yellow, gold, lavender, magenta, Mountbatten pink, myrtle green, drab olive, Prussian blue, shamrock green, tangerine yellow, viridian, Persian indigo, Scarlet Johansson blonde… all these colours, and more, are visible within a supernova. A universe of colours indeed.

“The courage to imagine the otherwise is our greatest resource, adding colour and suspense to all our life.” Daniel J. Boorstin

The 1970’s were dubbed the “Me Decade” by the famous journalist Tom Wolfe. Disco was the order of the day with platformed people dancing the night away, oblivious to the concerns of the world. With the advent of pesticides, fertiliser and irrigation projects, many third-world countries boosted their agricultural production in what become known as the Green Revolution. Despite the rampant consumerism of the 1970’s, a growing concern over the state of environment emerged and was reflected in the colours of time: olive green, brown, tan, yellow and burnt orange.

The 1980’s The advent of home computers in the early 1980’s fostered a generation obsessed with computer games such as Space Invaders, Pac Man and Donkey Kong. This technological revolution moved into the mass media with special effects movies like Tron and TV series such as Buck Rogers. The multi-coloured puzzle cube made famous in the 1980’s can be seen as a symbol of the time, with futuristic colours like electric pink, bright blue, day-glow yellow and neon green all mixed up in an increasingly complex digital world.

The 1990’s The colourful bubblegum pop of the 1980’s caused a backlash of anti-culture with the moody and angst-ridden lyrics of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, giving a voice to a disillusioned generation. The grunge movement was reflected in the “anti-fashion” trends of the 1990’s with flannel shirts, torn jeans, high-top sneakers and long hair. Simple and sober colours mirrored the dark and troubled personality of Generation X, including black, silver, white, red and dark navy. Johnnie Walker® has been there through the decades and, like the contrasting colours of years past, the signature labels of Johnnie Walker® – Red, Black, Green, Gold and Blue – continue to stride through time.


THE MEANING OF COLOUR Everybody has a favourite colour. Tiger Woods, for example, is said to like strawberry red above all other colours. Mike Myers favours blue, while Whoopi Goldberg adores magenta. This favouritism could be the result of a positive memory, vanity, psychology or purely an aesthetic preference. Who knows the reasons for their choices? What we do know is that certain colours are associated with certain psychological meanings. In Western society, black has long been associated with death, although, in the fashion world, it has also come to suggest sophistication, glamour and formality. Its opposite, white, is believed to signify life and purity. Conversely, in the Orient, white is the traditional colour of mourning. Other colour associations in Western culture include: • Bright red: optimism, dynamism, power, excitement. (In China, red signifies good luck and in India, purity.) • Purple and gold: royalty, wealth, opulence, mystery. • Green: peace, nature, fertility, healing. • Blue: trust, stability, tranquility, harmony. (In China, blue is the colour of immortality.)


• Brown: stability, masculinity, reliability, endurance.




• Orange: ambition, fun, happiness, enthusiasm, generosity. • Light blue: peace, tranquility, understanding.

ulu girls learn the renowned beadwork of their culture at a very early age from their mothers and older sisters. Designed and made exclusively by women, Zulu beadwork is much more than pure adornment. Instead, it forms an intricate system of communication that is devoted mostly to the expression of ideas, feelings and facts related to behaviour and relations between the sexes. The language that lives within the beads is deceptively simple, traditionally using just one basic geometric design and a maximum of seven colours. Each of the seven colours, however, has both positive and negative sides, and even the subtlest variation on shade, pattern and combination with other colours, can change the entire meaning of a message. That said, there is a broad understanding of the meanings behind each colour: Black:

• Bright yellow: joy, action, idealism, hope.

Denotes sadness, loneliness or disappointment. To confuse matters, however, in a certain context black can also symbolise marriage or convey reassurance. Can symbolise the sky or the sea; faithfulness; or a garrulous disposition. Negatively, it can symbolise hostility.

Green: Symbolises domestic contentment, but also love-sickness and jealousy. Pink:

Denotes a shy suggestion of poverty, especially of inability to provide cattle for lobola. Strangely enough, it can also denote high birth or an oath.


The universal symbol of strong emotion and physical love, red can also denote heartache, anger or impatience.

• Navy blue: dignity, credibility, strength. • Grey: neutrality, class, timelessness. We, naturally, lean towards red, black, green, gold and blue, all of which suggest impeccable taste. Any colour will do however, as long as you Keep Walking. Sources: BBC;; Wikipedia; Crayola

COMPETITION You could win a Johnnie Walker Black Label® Anniversary Limited Edition bottle by answering the following question on the enclosed Fax Reply Form. Which artist painted “Black Square”?

White: Suggests purity, spiritual love and good luck. It has no negative connotations. Yellow: A symbol of wealth and fertility, it can also mean estrangement, hate or withering away. Source: Zululand Eco-Adventures Terms & Conditions apply.








he Striding Man has changed little since his creation in 1908. Today this famous gent with his distinctive top hat, walking stick and riding boots is instantly recognisable as a mark of quality, prestige and authenticity the world over. In recognition of the 100th Anniversary of the Striding Man, The House of Johnnie Walker速 presents its international award-winning Black Label速 blended Scotch whisky in a Limited Edition Anniversary bottle. Delivered in a sleek, high-gloss, black bottle and set with real gold, this special edition of Johnnie Walker Black Label速 commemorates what has come before and salutes the oncoming future, as this icon of progress continues to stride forth through time.

OFFICIAL JOU RNAL OF THE JOHNNIE WALKER ® STRIDING MAN SOCIETY The Johnnie Walker Striding Man Society • P.O. Box 12244 • Mill Street • 8010 Telephone: 0860 564 664 • Fax: 0865 285 925 Email:

Not for Sale to Persons Under the Age of 18.