Tuesday August 1, 2006
A slightly confused state of affairs made my arrival at the house somewhat later than I’d planned.
It was all down to Graham, you see. He’d managed by some strange managerial sleight of hand to arrange his staffing of the bars in such a fashion that, apart from a brief managerial visit to show his face, he’d have the whole day off until something like seven o’clock this evening.
“I think I might just come over with you to the house,” he said.
“That’d be good. I bet you’d rather sleep late and take it easy, though.”
“No. I can catch up on sleep at the end of the season. Coming over to the house takes precedence.”
“Well, if you’re sure.”
That was late last night. When I clambered out of bed this morning I got the distinct feeling that I’d been right to suspect that sleeping late might just have a higher priority for Graham than coming over to the house. I brought him tea, just in case.
“You can always go back to sleep for a while if you like,” I said. “I have some writing to finish anyway.”
“Just five minutes.”
A couple of hours later I took him another cup of tea.
“I think you’d do better to pass on visiting the house,” I said. “I honestly think you’d do better to take it easy today.”
“You’re probably right. Give me time to get up and get my head together before you go. There’s something I want you to get for me in B&Q.”
“Tell you what,” I said when I looked at the techno-babble he’d written as a shopping list, “when I get to B&Q I’ll phone you from the aisle and you can steer me by remote control.”
Not too long after I stood in front of what I’d known would be a bewildering display of telephone cable and connectors, dialled his number and did just that. There was a bonus in it for me, though, for I spotted a reasonably priced 10 metre phone extension cable and grabbed it so’s I can use the laptop on the table in the dining nook and connect to the phone jack in the hall.
All in all, I got to the house at about the time I normally start running out of steam. Even so, I set up my painting gear and started work to obliterate the powerful blue in the study. I stood back from the first, very messy patch and decided to record it for posterity. As a wall paint job the result was not encouraging, all patchy and streaky. As an abstract painting, had I been able to cut it out and frame it I’d probably have been able to sell it.
The first daub of paint
By the time I got to the end of the first stretch of wall I had to admit that the paint pad wasn’t working for me. I’d known of course that the first coat would be uneven and imperfect but the pad had stuck and stuttered, leaving streaks, blobs and spatters as it went. So, with trepidation, I switched over to using a brush for the next section of wall.
The paint pad isn’t working
To my delight, I did much better with the brush, leaving the wall in a pretty good state, considering the depth of colour I was covering. My late start combined with the difficulty I had with the paint pad obliged me to stop after another stretch of wall but I was pleased enough with my progress. The brush was a 2-inch job, not really suitable for wall painting, so I’ll buy a 3-inch one tomorrow and hope to get the work done much faster. Graham says a 4-inch brush is more appropriate but I have some misgivings about that. My wrists and finger joints aren’t up to heavy work; doing it my way, and working as much as I can each day, I’m confident I’ll be able to celebrate the last dab of paint by the end of August.
An old fashioned paint brush performs better
It wasn’t until I was well on the way back to the caravan that I remembered this was the day when I was supposed to check for broadband availability again. Hey ho. I’ll do it tomorrow. I’d get very little use of the service over the next month anyway—I can only spare a half-hour out of each visit to upload the journal and to pick up email and check my main information webpages. Once we’ve moved in I shall revel in connectivity, and give myself the luxury of a full day reading other blogs and checking out my main reference sites.
When I arrived it was clear that Graham had spent his free time wisely, catching up on lost sleep, and relaxing and unwinding generally. He looks much better for it. I didn’t say anything about the foolishness of thinking that sleep can be deferred to the end of the season. I can manage the days quite well by deferring my afternoon nap to the evening; if I had to wait for the end of the season I think I’d run away and hide.