Thursday, January 18, 2007

Dressing up for an evening downstairs...

After supper yesterday evening, we were all upstairs, and the conversation went something like this:

'I'm not sure what to wear.'
'No, it's difficult. We have suitable clothes for summer, but not when it's chilly.'
'I wonder if this shirt would be OK?'
'Or how about this one?'
'Not sure...'
'Ah, here are some trousers, do you think they'd be appropriate?'
'Oh, here's a sweatshirt I've never really worn but it's not particularly comfortable. Maybe I could wear that...'

A casual listener might have thought we were going out to a posh theatre, perhaps. Or a party.

The casual listener would have been wrong.

We were trying to find clothes to paint the guest flat kitchen/dining room. A job we've put off for a long time.

We bought paint on Saturday, but that was enough effort for one day. We simply couldn't decide what colour to have. There's only one window so it's not a particularly light room, so we knew it had to be something pale. It's right next to the living room, which has some blue-ish sofas, so we didn't want anything that would clash. But... there were still about a thousand shades we could have chosen. In the end I looked at the paint names and thought 'Snowdrop' sounded nice. Richard thought the colour would be all right, if a bit boring, so that's what we chose. It's a pleasant shade of white (what used to be called 'hint of a tint').

On Sundays, we don't tend to do work around the house anyway. On Monday evening, Richard didn't get home till nearly 7.30pm, thinking it was an hour earlier. By the time we'd eaten we were all too tired to do any painting, so we watched an episode of Quantum Leap instead.

On Tuesday we were just thinking that maybe we ought to get started... then we remembered that we hadn't yet filled in our UK tax form for the last year, and the deadline is January 31st. Richard's going to be away next week, and he's the only one that really understands the figures (I just do the regular bookkeeping so all our finances are on the computer) - so we did that instead. Probably the first time in history that we've been relieved to remember that we have taxes to do! With the online system, it only took about an hour in all - that included printing out full reports of the relevant figures, finding last year's forms to check dates, and doing all the input online.

Then, having filed the taxes, we did go downstairs to move the furniture from the kitchen to the living room, in preparation for painting. That was definitely enough for Tuesday evening.

So yesterday was the day. Tim said he would help, which meant we needed to find three sets of clothes for painting. We had several ancient tee-shirts and shorts, used when last painting in the summer. But although we put the heating on downstairs for an hour, it's not really the weather for shorts and tee-shirts.

Eventually Tim found a pair of jeans that's slightly too short and has a scorch mark on them, and a sweatshirt he doesn't like and never wears, Richard found a pair of trousers that are wearing thin and a thick shirt that is getting scruffy, and I found my ancient painting trousers (more paint than trousers) and an old fleece that has a non-working zip.

So we could procrastinate no longer.

And, of course, it turned out to be not too long a job after all. Richard did the highest parts, Tim did the medium bits, and I did the lowest bits and around the doors and electrical sockets. I think we were finished in a little over an hour. It looked very patchy while we were painting...

But thankfully it's dried evenly, and looks much cleaner than it used to, even if the colour is a bit boring.

So at lunchtime today we moved the furniture back, then we moved everything from the living room into the kitchen, including hundreds of books. Tonight we plan to paint the living room.

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