Thursday, September 30, 2010

Just like watching paint dry

Decisions, decisions. The moment has come at Dixon Towers when we can prevaricate, procrastinate, shilly-shally and vacillate no longer.

Although we can’t do it tonight because it’s the cat’s birthday. And tomorrow we’ve got to do the weekly shop. And then it’s the feast day of Saint Remigius, Bishop of Rheims, Apostle of the Franks. And you know what that means?

Exactly. No windows in our family calendar for at least another week.

Anyway, once we’ve got that little lot out of the way it will definitely be time to decide.

On what, you may ask. What decision can be so important, yet so avoidable? Out with it, Dixon.

It’s time to come clean. The master bedroom at Dixon Towers is in dire need of redecoration. The once pristine cream on the walls is now a murky shade of yoghurt. The woodwork is flaking. There’s still a horrible patch of bare plaster from when we had the loft conversion done six years ago. Hey, we don’t rush things at Dixon Towers. But we can put it off no longer.

The brief is for dark red, but Mrs D’s conditions are strict: not too dark, and not too red. And thick enough to cover up aforementioned plaster in no more than three coats, seeing as how she’ll be doing most of the painting.

Yours truly’s conditions are less taxing. Nothing that will require a second mortgage to buy. And nothing that looks too much like Germolene.

Not that there’s anything wrong with Germolene in its place, you understand. It’s just that it has an unnerving resemblance to dead salmon, and it smells far too much like Doctor Pepper. Or maybe Dr P smells like Germolene. What was that about procrastination?

Tally ho for Homebase, where your columnist has been dispatched to pick up some test pots.

Where to begin? Well, the paint counter, obviously. But there’s one paint counter for the fancy stuff, and another for the Eezy-Klene Wun-Cote common-or-garden household emulsion.

Let’s split the difference: four from the posh aisle, four from the cheap zone. And from there on in it’s a lucky dip, because the names don’t offer much of a clue.

Burnt Raspberry. Carmine Blush. Deepest Scarlet. Vicar’s Crimson. Boot Red. Fox’s Bloodstain.

(Only one of these is a real paint. Any guesses which?)

A sharp intake of breath as you realise that just shelling out for the test pots will set you back almost as much as what you’ll end up paying to cover the walls, and then it’s home with your spoils.

From a first glance at the lids, Mrs D is not convinced. All too dark, all too red, in her judgment. Except for the Ruptured Salmon, which looks too much like the well-known ointment. And smells worse.

Never mind. The Dixon bedroom is now festooned with sheets of lining paper painted with squares of the samples. Unfortunately, though, they all look exactly alike, barring the nasty accident with the fish.

So we still can’t make up our minds, and next week it’s the memorial day of St Denis of Paris and his companions the martyrs. The painting will just have to wait.

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