Yes, yes, I know. I have been strangely silent. But in a good cause! I had some time off work and instead of sitting around blogging, I spent it doing exciting stuff like spring cleaning my flat (look spring was late this year) and decorating the sitting-room.
Boy, was it hard work. When you only clean twice a year whether the place needs it or not, the procedure is more like excavation than mere dusting. It’s remarkable how much sunshine we get in London once you’ve cleaned the windows. I discovered I’d been living in a permanent twilight of dust and birdshit and now I can look out and see that the garden really needs work. A lot of work.
But THAT’S all in the future. Or, as they say in meetings these days, ‘going forward, we want to . . . ‘ Going forward I want to tackle the garden. Going backwards, I concentrated on decorating the sittingroom, last done 14 years ago next month.
I learned many things, which I would like to share with you. I’ve rounded it up into 14 points so that you can learn one a day for a fortnight, then remember them always. Here goes:
1. Before heading to Homebase, check that you haven’t already bought everything you need and stashed it in a cupboard, unopened
2. Check that the paint pads fit the handle you bought. Sod’s Law says they won’t
3. Make sure you still like the colour of the paint you bought a year ago. It’s tough titty if you don’t, of course, because you can’t afford to buy more
4. You’ll end up with more paint on you than a Jackson Pollock and the effect will be much the same. See if you can frame and sell your clothes when you’ve finished
5. It’s hard on the knees, painting a skirting board, so you’re going to be rolling around on the floor. If you didn’t bother to clean it first, you’ll become a sort of human mop
6. When painting overhead, do not look directly up, unless you want to spend 15 minutes removing emulsion from your eyebrow
7. Anywhere two colours meet, you are going to end up with 10 coats as you try to get a straight line at the join
8. Having a cat underfoot does not help matters, no matter how much the cat says it will
9. Keep the kettle full of water and a supply of tea bags handy at all times. Gin may seem attractive but it’s not a good idea till you’ve finished. Really
10. That blobby bit you think won’t show, will show. Anyone who walks in the room will notice it immediately. And mention it
11. If you expect a paint job to take four hours, it will take eight
12. Cancel this week’s yoga or pilates class. You’ll be doing enough bending and stretching for a whole rackful of fitness videos
13. Fluff is attracted to tacky paint by the aforementioned Sod’s Law. Make what you want of that. #justsayin
14. Wipe up any drips on the floor straight away. If you don’t, the next time you notice them will be when you get that tacky sensation on the sole of your flipflop/foot
I did all this so you don’t have to. Hope you’re grateful.