Oh dear. I’ve started painting again. I don’t mean painting as in art. I mean as in decorating.
I say “oh dear” because it’s one of these tasks that you start with a will and, half-way through, you lose the will to live. For a while, it becomes your whole life.
The room I’d decided to paint was the back bedroom that has become a junk-filled man-cave. You can hardly move in it. Guitars, exercise equipment, files, folders, hundreds of books, semi-retired anoraks, a futon, plus weird bits of carpet and wood that “might come in handy”.
I’ve been wanting to make this my “study”, a place where I might think great thoughts about great plans based on great ideas that’ll all come to a great big zero.
The room overlooks the back garden, but the tall trees mean little light gets in. An odd thing about this house is that all the walls are blue. The previous resident must have really liked that colour. I think it’s meant to be relaxing. Maybe that’s why I feel so comatose all the time.
I’m really a yellow fellow. It’s so bright and cheerful. I don’t know why the Government doesn’t make it compulsory. I’ve always deplored that Scandi white-and-grey look as being clinical and, well, colourless.
But, before I left my last house, I decided to paint the wee hall and big staircase white to brighten up the joint for potential purchasers, and I was amazed at how well it worked. So I’ve come to appreciate white, at least for dull places and, pre-lockdown, bought two large tubs of a “brilliant” variety.
These I left for months until a rainy day during the lockdown left me with little excuse. There isn’t much room anywhere else in the house to move all the junk, so I stacked it in the middle of the room, a process accompanied by thumps and twangs as guitars hit the deck every time I turned my back.
At first, the painting went well, as the rollers really cover a bit of ground. Literally: the floor. And clothes, futons, documents, books, dumbbells, my shoes and, further afield, the sink and kitchen surfaces when I attempted cleaning the rollers.
I am Mr Mess. The paint was almost as bad as food with me. I can get these substances anywhere.
The worst thing was the revelation that this was going to take multiple coats. I was hoping for two but then settled for three, but it’s going to have to be four.
And I haven’t yet filled in the bits the roller can’t reach, these sections where the walls meet the ceiling, and on which no amount of finesse or instructional YouTube videos can stop me leaving brush-streaks and a general, unprofessional look.
Still, if you don’t look too closely, it’ll be fine when it’s finished. Here, in this little white room overlooking the big pink flowers of the rhododendron, I will think great thoughts.
And, readers, it’s my duty to warn you now that you will be the beneficiaries of many of these. Do I hear groaning? Is that someone reaching for the sherry already?
Fear not, madam. For, as with the paint, I feel sure I’ll soon be on a roller. All right, I’ll just get my coats.