Nanna’s ill, Mama’s ill and Grandad’s got the sickness bug; all thanks to Nipper. But with two black eyes, a grazed forehead, a bruised knee a molar poking through and snot with a capital ‘S’, Nipper topped the league table for ailments this week. Dadda’s got a different bug; decorating fever. He’s a man possessed and all in good time for Easter Sunday also known as ‘DIY Save Our Souls Day’. The project: our lounge. And so, this weekend, along with half the country, we made our way to Homebase and set about unfolding the dust sheets.
Despite falling prey to ‘the snot’, Nanna took care of Nipper while we scraped the ‘snots’ from the newly plastered walls. My nose was running with a watery ‘goo’ and so, with no hand free to wave a white hanky, I plugged my nostrils with tissue and pulled on my overalls.
Inspired by ’60 Minute makeover’ N painted the ceiling and walls with 50-50 water-paint in under an hour. I on the other hand managed to lose an hour ‘cutting in’ around the door and sockets. Cutting-in is boring. It’s the decorator’s assistant’s job – that and making tea. I made a lot of tea over the weekend. Strong Builders-tea. Big mugs of steaming copper-coloured liquid. Caffeine seemed to help oil the sore throat, loosen the catarrh and mask the fluey ache in my body.
If only I was as fit as N. He’s Iron Man. He thinks nothing of cycling the 40 mile round trip to work and back. And he doesn’t even have to lie down in a darkened room before getting on his bike to return home. Nope; he goes to the gym at lunchtime instead. He’s unstoppable. He doesn’t need a ladder either to paint the ceiling. Impressive stuff. I on the other hand am a breeding ground for virus’s. If a butterfly flaps his wings in China the draft will give me a cold. A flock of butterflies had been busy in China last week and I had the mother of all colds.
I must have been bad in a former life; no other explanation for the constant stream of streaming noses, sore throats and the over consumption of paracetamol based drugs over the past six months. And so, with no rest for the wicked I continued painting with N – trying my best to keep up with him brush stroke for brush stroke.
After two solid days of painting we’d broken the back of the lounge (which now resembled a huge white cube) and despite repeating over and over; ‘my god it looks so much bigger’ I’d managed not to annoy N with my constant sniffing and snorting. But now the difficult bit – we had to move the furniture in and decide upon ‘fabrics’.
It’s a truth universally understood that decorating and paint charts can lead to argument and even divorce. We’d done quite well so far – we’d torn our new house apart since November and had decorated three rooms so far, without argument; thanks to ‘cream’. We’d gone for cream walls and cream carpets – some might see this as a cowardly colour option, but with a toddler in the house we were being bold. Colour is important to both of us, unfortunately we reside at opposite ends of the colour spectrum.
You can go through our house and sort things into piles ; those that belonged to me and those that belonged to him prior to giving up our respective flats and moving in together. We are split down boy/girl or blue/pink lines. My bold red and pink paintings, my multicoloured rug versus N’s collection of blue prints and love of anything made from glass or steel. And so, over the next few months, our lounge, with its newly painted cream walls, will provide the venue for our style stand-off as my pink sofa stares down N’s big blue beast of a settee. The bare bulb and bare windows will taunt the bare walls – who will win? Will we have pink or blue curtains? A pink drum pendant or a steel-boy light fitting? Will we ever agree on what prints to hang on our smooth cream walls?....and will the snot ever end?
On the up-side, a stash of Easter Eggs currently reside in the neutral zone in the lounge.