Like a goose

It’s one of those projects you begin with wild enthusiasm, then immediately wonder why the bloody hell you started. We’re painting the inside walls of the garage, or more accurately Gareth’s Hobby Lair. It’s home to bicycles, motorbikes, homemade homebrewing contraptions, and tools of many kinds.

Shortly after moving in he noticed that the garage floor wasn’t sealed properly, so his hobbies were getting coated in a fine layer of grey dust. He spent a couple of weekends sealing the floors. This turned the floors a grim, depressing grey. Which in turn made the grim, depressing grey of the concrete block walls look even more so.

The logical solution was to paint the walls a bright white. We calculated it would be a long weekend’s work but it’s been three so far. One reason is that the concrete blocks are chunky and rough so you have to hurl paint at them repeatedly then really stab it in with your brush, over and over and over again. But the main reason is beause it’s flipping cold and we can only work in short shifts before the shivers and madness take over.

Personally I’m sort of enjoying it. It’s not like painting inside, you can really slap it on and make a mess. We turn the radio to 6 Music and sing along and grind the paint into the bricks in time with the music. The first wall was accompanied by Lemmy tributes. The second was poignant with non-stop Bowie. So many brilliant tunes. Devastated. Not sure if they will pay homage to our fallen Eagle this weekend. I hope we don’t lose any more 70s icons before we hit the last wall.

Although it’s been a pretty mild winter so far, Gareth isn’t enjoying the cold. Between the garage shifts and his long days toiling in a chilly brewery he just can’t get warm. He claims after 43 Scottish winters his bones are finally turning to mould.

He keeps watching Outback Truckers, in which fair dinkum Aussie truck drivers haul their giant loads all over the reddest, dryest parts of the great Southern land. He insists he wants to go the Pilbara as seen on a recent episode, and just “dry out for a few months”. I reminded him that he struggled to cope with a mere 30’C overnight in Sydney, unable to do nowt but lay very still on the bed squarking, “Too hot! Don’t touch me!”. But no, this time he says he’d welcome extreme heat and the many creatures that want to kill you.

The other day I started this cool Make Films course, in an attempt to make my wonky egg vending machine videos better. Our first mission was to make a teeny 15 second film about our weekend. Xanthe is an kind and generous teacher, encouraging you to start small and not worry about techy details – just get in there and shoot snippets of your everyday life. My issue was I kept forgetting to shoot. But when I did, I’m proud to say I finally managed to hold the phone horizontally! And I was delighted when I played back a snippet of Gareth painting a mercifully non-nobbly chunk of garage wall that I’ve captured his grumbling!

I missed his first line, which was:

I’m going to fly south for the winter.

Then he says:

Like a goose.

*large, dramatic sigh*

I don’t care if it’s dusty.

I’m going anyway.

This is the stuff I’ll treasure when I’m 80 years old, finally retired to the Pilbara.

About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

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20 thoughts on “Like a goose

    1. We started out using the big fluffy rollers, but they just didn’t get into the big craggy holes in the bricks, sadly! The brush worked heaps better.

  1. Ahh the Pilbara! My Dad lives there at the moment and last week the temperature hit 54 degrees. 54. I’m actually fairly certain that could broil your innards. You can’t even walk on the road in your shoes for more than a few minutes as the rubber starts to melt 🙂

  2. Totally unrelated to your latest blog but: I squealed when I realized it says ‘bookS I’ve written’ in your header. Books plural! How cool is that 🙂

    ps: Ofcourse I already know you’ve written two. It’s just seeing it like that 😀

  3. We are having a similar relationship with painting the cupboard under the stairs. Except you can only get one person in there at a time, so it’s not so companionable. It’s the current piece in the House Tetris: we have to get the cupboard finished so we can install the shelves and put away all the stuff which is currently cluttering up the next room we need to decorate. And we need to decorate THAT room so we can use it as our bedroom and turn the current bedroom into a kitchen. And so on.

    I have the same issue with forgetting to hold the phone horizontally. Even before I had a smartphone, all the landscape-aspect photos on the digital camera were taken by the husband and all the portrait ones by me!

  4. You might mention to Gareth that a trip to San Diego at any point between April and October will have lovely, sunny weather with high temps in the low 70s (I think that’s the low 20s in Celcius) and lows overnight at no less than 15C – much shorter flight and no pesky Things That Want to Kill You.


  5. (p.s. If Gareth is a shower guy, he may want to switch to baths. When I moved from San Diego (always 70F) to Ann Arbor, MI (got to -30F when I was there), hot baths changed my life. Bones got TOASTY! Pardon if this is crazy obv. =) )

  6. I’m not a painter. But I wonder if the grey concrete bricks needed to be sealed first, so that the application of the white colour paint doesn’t take as much time (or paint?)

    1. Hi Syd, it’s masonry paint so the blocks don’t need sealed. They’re just a horrible texture. I’m nearly finished by the way, looks much brighter! Looking forward to getting the dartboard put up. Cheers, Gareth.

  7. Men and their Hobby Lairs – seriously. After spending three whole days sifting through 13 years of hobby detritus in his shed, I’ve just spent a couple of weekends as trade assistant, as husband decided he needed to plasterboard his shed. Not fun, but thank god, over. So this post definitely chimed with me. (Except the Pilbara bit – way too extreme for me!)

    Happy Australia Day, btw.

  8. Now that we’ve seen The Before of the garage, perhaps we can now have The Grand Reveal! Not champers to celebrate, perhaps home brewed beer or some Eden Mill gin followed by a friendly game of darts. All captured on Shauna’s Funniest Home Videos ?

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