While most people were out enjoying the last of the summer sunshine, the weekend saw me mostly up a ladder with a paintbrush in my hand.
I can’t really complain too much as I’ve managed to put off decorating our son’s bedroom for quite some time. Holidays, family events and other time pressures, together with a general reluctance to put up with the disruption it causes have all been used as excuses, so it’s been at the top of the ‘to do’ list for longer than it should have.
Without blowing my own trumpet, I’m not actually too bad at decorating – good enough to satisfy Mrs Turner’s exacting standards – but I’m not good at getting under way.
Invariably, it takes me twice as long to prepare for the job than it actually takes to do it.
Firstly, I have to fight my way into the dark, cobweb-infested corners at the back of the garden shed to find my decorating ‘kit’ – an old holdall filled with sheets of glassy smooth sandpaper, stiff brushes and rollers that should have been cleaned a little bit better at the end of the last job, solid half-empty tubes of filler, a tangled and much-knotted plumbline and other paraphernalia of no use to anyone.
Then, ever the optimist, I search through the shelves of half-full tins of paint that have accumulated over the years, hoping that at least one might be of use, but no, the white gloss is neither white nor glossy and the tub of matt white looks like something dredged out of a cess pit.
So it’s off to the DIY store armed with a long list of requirements, including my wife’s very specific paint choices. Last week was not the first time I’ve turned up at one store only to find they were out of stock of one of the colours. Into another just up the road, they didn’t stock it, neither did the next. A 25-mile round trip to a different branch of the first store and I had all I needed to start.
Just the small matter of finding a home for the furniture from the room, including a wardrobe so heavy that two of us could only slide it a few inches away from the wall (a looming problem for fitting the new carpet) and away I go.
I just hope our Indian summer lasts longer than it takes me to finish the room.