.. well the walls really but it didn’t scan as well
A while ago, I was mocking those poor deluded, spousely oppressed sops, whose weekend consisted of uncomplainingly opening paint tins before wasting many unhappy hours with a brush. Not for me this domestic drudgery, oh no, I was significantly too edgy and radical for such pointless pursuits. My life is far more windswept and interesting, with no time for DIY activities unless they specifically involve the violent application of dangerous power tools.
Actually doing stuff yourself on crumbling houses and dodgy outbuildings is apparently so last year. With my unerring ability to latch onto the coattails of a fading trend, the last two weeks have seen me swapping bikes and beer for trowels and paintbrushes. Frankly, it’s a bit of a worry.
The previous Saturday morning, I was happy slapping the virgin wood on the barn with sticky creosote almost before the dawn had cracked. The neighbours looked on in shocked, if slightly worried, admiration whispering of a possible alien abduction. By the end of the day, they were ready to call the police or Samaritans as my crazed painting extended to the muchly unloved shed, last painted when it was assembled as an Anderson shelter. Serial painting is clearly to be my crime this summer, as another Spring day passed by with me closeted in a sealed room with sandpaper, a tin of evil smelling chemicals and a bemused expression. And of course, a paintbrush; I am currently a man defined by his bristles.
Since the barn resembles the entire Amazonian forest, chopped down and ready to be sanded, it’s unlikely things will improve for a while. If I don’t adopt a pretty radical lifestyle change, I’ll be Borg’d into the DIY tribe, understanding exactly what one can achieve with a Dremel and reciting the aisle names of all the major DIY stores as a party trick.
Make it stop. I’m starting to become obsessed.
As an aside, I’ve decided to rename my kids “Random” and “Verbal”. Random (5) is just not wired up correctly even when comparing her to the mass neurosis that affects almost all of her age group. We’ll be having a conversation about, say, what she would like for tea and she’ll tip her head on it’s side, adopt a look of mental constipation before uttering some bon mot such as “I want to be a duck when I grow up“. I don’t remember dropping her head first onto concrete when she was younger but maybe….
Verbal (7) likes to talk. This is entirely different to having a conversation. She doesn’t need a conversational partner, she just needs an audience. Or, to use a better word, Victim. The only guaranteed way to shut her up are to stuff the offending orifice with ice cream or if that fails, bring out the big guns – Grandma. A women who has an endless reel of anecdotes spanning some seventy years most of which I’ve only heard 50 or 60 times. She doesn’t even need an audience, just the occasional grunt to show you’re still alive. Running on strong tea and memories, she’s more than a match for the seven year old who is soon reduced to that catatonic state which, normally, only Children’s TV can engender.
This, I think is my problem. Surrounded by girls and women, none of whom I pretend to understand is clearly messing with my little mind. While I toiled in toxic fumes on a dull job that absolutely has to be done right now, my wife spent the day knocking down old gates and removing knackered locks and fittings “just in case we might need them sometime”. What the hell for? Are we expecting a surge in the second hand shit lock market anytime soon?“
I think I need a beer. Giving up coffee, sugar and beer doesn’t make you live longer. It just seems that way.