Friday April 22, 2005
The wallpaper in my study, while not to our taste, is relatively new. We suspect it was one of the last rooms decorated by the previous owners as they readied the house for sale. We’ve got used to it and, over the winter, it made a cosy room, rather bookish and not at all bad to view or to work in. So, we thought, we’d just tidy the room up and leave it be.
Until today. A bright, sunny April day, pleasant and balmy, the way April days should be, and I was sitting at my computer, relishing the sunshine flooding over my right shoulder. Perhaps that was a large part of the problem. The sunshine, flooding into the room, I mean.
“Oh, bugger,” said Graham, walking into the room bearing coffee.
“Whatever’s the matter?”
“It’s this room.”
“What’s wrong with it?”
“Oh,” I said. I knew what was coming next.
“We’re going to have to paint it.”
“If you say so.”
“I do say so. Come on, turn that thing off and let’s look at paint charts.”
Which is why, a day earlier than planned, we winged our way off to Boston today to pick up a large can of paint and stock up with provisions to see us through the weekend. While looking for the paint I left Graham and wandered off to grab a bottle of rapid-kill weed treatment so’s we could dose the one’s we’d missed when we sprayed the paths and driveway with the all-season stuff. When I got back to the paint aisle, Graham was nowhere in sight.
I found him by the central display of garden furniture, bouncing up and down on a timber garden bench.
“Come and try this,” he said.
I eased myself in, sat down, and pronounced it perfectly acceptable.
“Do you think we can afford it? It’d improve that blank bit of wall as you walk up to the house.”
“How much is it?”
“That won’t break the bank. Let’s grab one, then, if you think the pack will fit in the car.”
“I’ll make it fit.”
In the event, the stack of boxes containing the benches, flat packed for ‘easy home assembly’, showed a price of thirty-nine pounds, so we felt easier about it. Outside, Graham juggled the back seats in the car, slid his front passenger seat upright, and popped the box in, neat as neat.
“I think the truth of it is you’ve got easy home assembly flat-pack withdrawal symptoms,” I said.
“It’ll only take half an hour.”
“If you say so.”
“I do say so.”
“I think this is where we came in.”
And so the weekend, forecast to be fair and sunny, will be filled with paint, screwdrivers, woodglue, and the faint sound of weeds saying something along the lines of: “Oh, bugger.”