Dot writes: We’ve been in this house almost five years now, and in view of this Ken and I have been thinking it might be a good idea to finish decorating the children’s bedroom. It had a rather vile built-in wardrobe which we’ve been using as a place to keep clothes the boys had grown out of, and as a graveyard for extraneous coat hangers. It also had several test squares of different blues on the ceiling, from when Ken was going to paint a sky around the exciting sun-shaped IKEA light fitting.
The thing about being working parents is that the weekends are very short. You wake up on Saturday, take the kids to swimming, buy pick’n’mix, hang about a little feeling pleased it’s the weekend, have lunch, do the grocery shop, go to the park, do some cleaning and church stuff on Sunday morning, say “wouldn’t it be a good idea to sort the house out this weekend?” and then realise it’s already practically Monday. Rinse and repeat, for four years.
Well, we decided the four-day Easter weekend was too good an opportunity to miss. I’d already prepared last week by sorting out the too-small clothes and putting the ones that were too small for Frank in the clothes bank, and on Saturday we went as a family to Woodie’s and bought paint. Hugh insisted on green paint for the walls, and Frank insisted on buying a plunger which he referred to as “Plungey”. As in “Please, don’t leave Plungey behind!” I’m afraid this made me and Hugh spend the rest of the day compulsively exclaiming “I am Plungor, God of plumbing, and toilet wolves are real!” As a brief digression, this is why:
Anyway, we came back home and Ken ripped out the wardrobe. The room immediately felt astonishingly bigger. He stripped off the wall-paper from the inside of what had been the wardrobe to reveal this (the second picture is on its side):
I think this says “Moyley was here January 1952 and Frank”, but the first word’s a bit indistinct. Hugh helped me pick up the mess of soggy wallpaper; he was really very sweet, asking for tasks and running up and down eagerly fetching the dustpan and brush and other things. A far cry from the decoration efforts of 2011-12 when the children spent their time scribbling on walls and breaking raw eggs on the floor.*
Today we have put undercoat on the sections of bare plaster and the blue squares on the ceiling. The children had various wall stickers which have had to be removed under protest (many cries of “nooooo, don’t move our stickers, paint round the stickers”, but it would have been a hideously fiddly job); the stickers are supposed to be movable and have been carefully preserved on a roll of cling-film, but they’ve brought speckled samples of the previous paint job with them and I’m hoping (probably in vain) that they can be discreetly lost. It was actually my first time doing more than the tiniest bit of painting. In 2011-12 Ken did virtually everything by himself while I was out at work. I have discovered that I am pretty terrible at painting, but that I like it. You can find a zen rhythm in this repetitive manual task while happily listening to The Best of Depeche Mode on your lovely new Bluetooth speaker bought with air miles. We got as far as “Walking in My Shoes”and then the head fell off the paint roller.
More exciting updates to follow.
*It was Frank who did that. We were having the kitchen re-done and all the food was in cabinets in the living room.