Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Capitulation



Giving in gracefully, or Why I am always skint.


Took up stair carpet, left underlay. Gentle paws must be protected from gripper spikes.


Took up underlay. Nerves must be protected from ungentle skittering and scampering of excited cats over playground underlay, day and night, claws extended, and from Scooter turning it into rubbery confetti which Flossie then chews.

Stairs swept, hoovered, every scrap of stuck-on carpet fibre laboriously picked off old paint with pointed pliers, staples and tacks levered out; sand and undercoat sides (the 'string') of each step. New carpet must butt up against pristine paintwork, just needing to be touched up here and there.


Hands and sander frequently damaged by gripper spikes; toes of slipper-soles becoming shredded by regular impalement on same. Notice that dogs and cats manage to negotiate stairs without coming to harm.

(Also note the irritating noise of heavy dog claws clickety-clacking up and down uncarpeted stairs at all times of day or night. Revise dream of having beautiful polished floors everywhere in next house.)

Gloss painting commenced. Suffer sudden attack of extreme listlessness and frequent urge for sit-downs with cup of tea. Gird loins, make a start, sighing mournfully.

Each dab of fresh white paint only serves to accentuate yellowness of all the rest of the paintwork, and the many, many chipped edges. Only two years since Wally and his apprentice Millie decorated those stairs!

Realisation dawns: all the woodwork will have to be painted properly; 'touching up' won't do.

Thirty-five treads, many spindles, eight doors off landings and hallway.... nightmare prospect if you loathe glossing as much as I do! And then there's my ability to spill paint, leave fingerprints, daub my clothes and hair, miss bits, close doors before paint is dry, and much much more. And then there's the cats, and Flossie....


Result: Telephone call to Wally, who, sensing a desperate tone, shuffled his work commitments around, and is coming to paint the whole lot for me on Monday.

Sit down with sigh of relief and cup of tea. Forget paintbrush, which dries like concrete.

If anyone asks me enviously what I do with all the time I have on my hands, I can reply with honesty that I spend it dodging work.

17 comments:

John said...

Thank God for Wally. In my experience, painting and cats are not so compatible.

SusanFrances said...

Let the next owners do it..it cant be that bad!

Marcheline said...

Idea: Google "soft paws for dogs" ... they're cheap, easy to apply, and you can have all the shiny wood flooring you want. They also have them for cats, which means you can also have wicker if you really want it... or velvet, or...

Amy McPherson Sirk said...

Good choice. That much painting is definitely a job for a professional. Just so you know, the annoying sound of claws on hardwood floors is balanced out by the night time sound of cats loosing their footing (while chasing each other through the house)and sliding across hardwood floors.

judy in ky said...

I frequently suffer attacks of extreme listlessness myself, especially when faced with a daunting task such as this. Thank goodness for Wally!

frayedattheedge said...

Sounds like a very good plan to me - my speciality is leaning forward and brushing the bit I've just painted with the top of my head - who needs to go to the hairdresser fo streaks!! My poodle once leant against a skirting board I had just painted with red gloss (what can I say, it was the 80s, it was fashionable!)

the veg artist said...

Don't blame you for giving up on this one. Gloss paint makes me ill. I know paints have improved, but I still won't risk it. It will look lovely though.

liZZie said...

Wally can do all that in one day? Give him a big tip! Oh, and you could promise him a free holiday in West Somerset when he comes to paint your new home...

Lesley said...

If I was reborn as a painter/decorator I would end it all....thank God for the Wallys of this world!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Good idea . It would be churlish of you to deny Wally the chance to earn an honest crust .
Sit back and feel noble
( And just in case anyone is not familiar with the "honest crust" expression , I have absolutely no intention of implying that Wally's probity is not all it should be . )

Lynda (Granny K) said...

Oh you are a wise woman indeed! Obviously Wally remembers your delicious baking from his previous visit and has been longing ever since to return, post haste! (Or have I been watching too much Lark Rise to Candleford?)

Dan said...

Don't blame you for calling in Wally! I have the same job to do, but no Wally to fall back on. I think extreme listlessness is always brought on my decorating a house you're hoping to sell, it kind of feels like you're doing it for someone else (which I guess you are!!). I've been putting mine off for 3 weeks now...
Dan
-x-

Patricia G said...

life's too short!

Isabelle said...

Pah! What's money?

(An attitude which explains why we, too, are not rolling in cash.)

Debs said...

Do you know, that is just what our estate agent said -'once you start touching up, you'll have to do the whole lot. Leave it as it is'
I sadly look around at the chipped skirtings and the dog scratched doors and wonder if potential buyers will see beyond them....

Pam said...

"Where's Wally" eh. Sounds like your Wally is lot easier to find than the book version- thank goodness!

jabblog said...

Many's the time we've had painted cats and dogs in our house. Sometimes the colours quite suit them. Other times we've managed to paint the woodwork.

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