I've had builders in over the last few weeks.
They've taken a chimney out, all the way through the house. I've had French Doors put in at the back of the lounge, which entailed part of a wall being taken away, and I’ve had the, (old,) front wall of my house knocked in, so that I have a nice big reception area when you walk into what used to be the porch.
After getting over the shock of seeing builders and plasterers in action, (and inaction,) I now have the dubious pleasure of getting the painters in.
My decorators are the bloke next door and his son. I'd have done it myself, after all, as the old, adage goes, 'if you can pee you can paint,’ but after sleeping on it for all of thirty seconds, then eyeing up the height of the stairwell and noticing just how ridiculously cheap my neighbour's daily rate was, I opted to let them do it.
Doreen and I went to the B and Q hardware store and looked through the paint swatches, (or whatever they call those bits of card with four blobs of different coloured paint on,) and chose a nice safe, stair/reception area type colour, called, Earthen Cream. We got the very helpful young man to mix a litre, so we could cover one wall and see how it matched the surroundings, and tootled off back home.
My decorators arrived late, (there must have been heavy traffic between my house and his,) demanded coffee to 'wake them up,' then set about the test wall with gusto. (Personally, I think they should have used the paint we'd bought, but what do I know?)
They had only been at it about ten minutes when they called me in. They were having trouble distinguishing between the new paint and the old. The father said it was hard for them to see what bits had been done. Looking at it, I agreed, it did seem to be exactly the same colour. (Our tastes can't really have changed much over the last ten years.) I dug out the old tin and checked the label. The old stuff was 'Old Earth Cream'. I made a mental note to ring the Dulux paint company and ask them to hire more imaginative paint naming personnel, told the painters to do their best not to miss any bits and set off to B and Q again to get a bigger tin.
Having bought one litre already, I worked out that I now needed four more. I strolled up to the surly looking woman on the paint counter, asked for, 'four litres of this,' and passed her the paint chip card. She looked to be about fifty, with dyed ash- blonde hair and must have applied her make up with a trowel. She had more foundation that Fred West ever used in his entire career.
She shot me a look that unmistakably said, 'why is it always me that gets them?' and gave me a lecture about the measures of paint I could purchase. I could have one litre, two and a half litres, or five litres, but not four litres, unless of course I bought four-one litre pots, but that would not only cost me more, it would be more work for her.
Deciding not to make her day any worse than it obviously had been to this point, I settled for five and she went about setting up the computer to mix the stuff.
Thinking she must have had a bad night’s sleep, got out of bed the wrong side, stood barefoot in cat sick and then been given the awful news that her husband had been having a secret affair for the last three years with the transvestite up the road, I decided to cheer her up a bit by cracking a few choice, decorating jokes.
I was wasting my time. She ignored my quip about 'stripping,' totally failed to get the one about my painter being a bit of a drip, and checked her nails as I hit her with the uproariously funny gag about the odd job man who was asked to paint the porch, but came back after an hour and reported that he had done the job, but it wasn’t a porch, it was a Mercedes. Finally getting the message I mumbled something about my son thinking it was funny, and stood patiently and quietly while she put the tin in the press and fastened down the lid.