It baffles me how the British call the practice of painting the interior of a house, "decorating". Where I come from, we call that "painting". You decorate cakes, Christmas cookies, brave soldiers… but walls?
I first heard this word on BBC's Changing Rooms circa 1999, when Rhiannon and I subscribed to cable and lost entire weekends to the Lifestyle Channel. Linda Barker and Laurence Llewelyn Bowen were so exotic, if not a bit colour blind. They called it "emulsion" instead of paint. Somehow that made their MDF-encrusted designs seem far superior to those on the Australian version of the show.
But now that I actually live in the land of Handy Andy, I refuse to Decorate with poncy Emulsion. WE PAINT WITH PAINT, dammit.
Gareth and I have begun the tedious process of tarting up our flat. We started in 2005 with the spare bedroom then abandoned the project due to lack of interest. But now we have the fancy shower everything else looks really scabby.
Doing DIY on the weekend feels so grown-up and depressing. The next step is matching fleeces and Midsomer Murders and the general End of Fun. I've heard of people painting their houses and going on to experience enjoyment in their lives, but it still feels like a slippery slope.
It's going alright so far. I accidentally walked through the paint tray and trekked paint through the flat then Gareth's roller disintegrated and distributed pube-like debris all over the ceiling, but that seemed more productive than last time when he knocked a five-litre paint tin off the ladder and coated himself, ceiling and carpet in Dulux Buttermilk.
My problem is a tendency to stand around waiting for instructions instead of getting stuck into the work. Once again I must attribute this to the Mothership as she used to tell me I was too messy to help with the painting. Instead I had to be her Roller Slave. She'd stand on a bar stool to paint the high bits, and when the roller ran dry she'd hold it out without even looking at me, and issue the snooty command, "LOAD!"
I'd put more paint on the roller and pass it back up so she didn't have to get off the chair and do it herself. Most times she'd hand it straight back, declaring it to be coated with too much or not enough paint. "RELOAD!" And how my whole body would twitch with the urge to paint over her eyeballs.