Gaby Soutar: Rose-tinted reality

Rose-tinted glasses? Just give me reality says Gaby Soutar

Advice to my younger self: wear sunglasses more often. Picture: Wattie Cheung
Advice to my younger self: wear sunglasses more often. Picture: Wattie Cheung

If I was to give my younger self advice, it would be to wear sunglasses more often. I always rejected them, because they made me feel like I was wearing fancy dress. Hats, leather gloves, curve-handled umbrellas and ponchos fall into the same category.

Years of squinting into the sun has resulted in the pitter-patter of crows’ feet and slightly dodgy vision, both of which might have been prevented by a pair of wrap-arounds.

This summer, I will be shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, but I’m not sure if I’ll be doing that with a pair of Tens.

Hot on the heels of Tzukuri (the high-tech shades that alert your iPhone when you lose them), these comparatively low-fi sunglasses have just been launched through crowdfunding site Indiegogo.

Created by a canny young collective of Edinburgh-based creatives, they look innocent enough – like a cross between Wayfarers and a pair of the 3D specs that cinemas mug you for.

However, they’re designed to tint whatever you’re looking at with an Instagram-like filter.

“Whilst typical sunglasses block out the light with desaturated, cold colours; Tens work with the warmth of the sun to lend an up-lifting tint to the world beyond the lens,” it says on the website

Wear these, and everything looks saturated with colour like a sunny Seventies snap, or a happy memory flashback in a rom-com.

On their website, there’s a sort of before and after pic of what appears to be Salisbury Crags.

If you’re sporting your Tens, this landmark looks honey-coloured and glamorous, like it’s been Photoshopped or given a major make-over.

Nice, but it’s not the familiar dormant volcano that we know and love. In fact, it’s a spit of its bigger and sexier US cousin – the Grand Canyon.

Poor old Salisbury Crags, it’s lovely to the naked eye, even if it is stark, mousey-hued and guano-spotted in bits. There’s the rub.

Shades on, your other half looks like the door staff at Abercrombie & Fitch; shades off, they resemble the squishy green things that operate a Dalek from the inside.

Sunglasses on, lunch appears to be one of Andrew Fairlie’s culinary creations: take them off, oh, it’s the only Ginsters that was left in the staff vending machine.

Still, even though life is disappointing, I don’t think I want my reality to resemble a Twitter feed.

I’ll stick with ordinary sunglasses from now on (and save the Tens for date night).

The idea that we can afford to enhance our visual reality reminded me of something that the creepy Lorne Malvo (aka Billy Bob Thornton) said to police officer Gus Grimley in the most recent episode of Fargo (Channel 4, Sundays, 9pm).

“Did you know the human eye can see more shades of green than any colour?”

Local cop Molly Solverson worked out that this baddie might be alluding to his role as predator.

We’ve evolved from apes and, according to her, this heritable trait has developed so we can spot “panthers and stuff” in the jungle, not just so we can create an interesting salad.

Fab fact. Is is true? Yes, I Googled it.

It’s because of this the view through night vision goggles is tinted green, so one can see more nuance and variation amongst the pea, spinach and lettuce-coloured shadow.

I wonder if the modern day hipster homo-sapiens would survive in the forest with just a pair of Tens?

Heck, you probably wouldn’t spot the tiger until he was gnawing at your legs, but at least the landscape would look sepia-tinted and lovely.