LAURA CARTLEDGE: You are never too old for a bit of child’s play

I call him rainbow badger.

Not the most inventive name, I know, but as soon as I saw him, I thought ‘he wants to be technicolour’ – I could just tell.

Those who know me won’t be surprised to learn I am flirting with the ‘adult colouring book’ trend.

The use of the word ‘adult’ there is as essential as it is risky.

It is a way of making it an acceptable hobby for those who may not have picked up a crayon or felt-tip in a decade or two or more.

But let me assure you, it isn’t meant in the red light kind of way.

Instead, subject matters range from the royals – with ‘Colour in Kate’ among the titles – to comic book classics and iconic cityscapes.

My first venture, as you can probably tell, has a nature theme to it.

Only with a bit of a rainbow twist now. If you think the badger is bad – you should see psychedelic squirrel.

I did try to resist it.

I do still have a collection of crochet coasters that need to be made into a blanket.

But I’d begun to lose count of the number of times I had walked up to the shelves of books, flicked through the options and left again.

The reality of being a home-owner played a big part, too.

Who has time to colour when the garden needs weeding, dinner needs cooking and consuming and every inch of the property needs redecorating?

I do.

Not much time, mind, but I am grabbing snippets when I can.

When the football is on, when I’ve productively reshuffled as many of the remaining boxes as I can – to the point I am really just moving them from one slowly-decreasing pile to another.

It has already got to the point where I am using colouring as a reward.

I have the kind of conversations in my head that you hear exasperated parents having with their child.

‘If I just do the laundry/ clear that room/ tackle that paperwork – then I can colour.

Life is, after all, about the simple pleasures.

A drive to the seafront to watch the sunset after a day cleaning waterbutts, for example.

Making a long walk less of a chore by pretending it is an eight-mile hunt for blackberries instead.

It has taken a bit of readjustment, some may call it growing up, but it is certainly true that a bit of hard work makes the playing more fun.

As for the colouring, it feels nice to finally be able to adopt a trend.

I wouldn’t go as far as saying it makes me trendy – it is a rebooted pasttime, not witchcraft.

But the statistics seem to show people are spellbound by the whole phenomenon.

The colouring books are dominating the top ten list for online retailer Amazon.

And it is global, too, with the titles accounting for 60 per cent of Brazil’s non-fiction list.

A lot has been said about the benefits they have for stress relief too, which just goes to show, once again, that being childish can be a good thing.