Energy in our house is sapping almost as quickly as the extension is consuming the paint.
Saturday saw S devote the equivalent of a full working day applying coat number 2 while O and I headed out to the Horniman Museum to keep out of the way. We got no further than the cafe before it became clear that our son, lovingly nicknamed John Torrode by his Grandma due to the fact that his jaw drops wide when the spoon goes in, batted away his lunch. Instead he buried his hot little head into my neck and cried a heartbreaking cry. Calpol, cuddles and sleep were needed so once safely home thats just what he had and a slightly perkier child awoke afterwards. S was less so. The ceiling takes three hours to paint and the claypaint, being stiffer than your average Dulux, is turning out to be hard to apply evenly. Whilst the walls are covering fairly well the ceiling, the hardest part of course to paint, is coming up patchy. An aching and tired S stopped work at eight o’clock, the lack of natural light doing nothing to help an even application, for Chinese followed almost immediately by the comforting softness of bed.
On Sunday we flipped hats, with S taking over childcare and me taking possession of the roller. After a delayed start…an urgent trip to the barbers (S), B&Q and the hardware shop for our oven and hob, I managed a three hour stint on the ceiling before a friend arrived to help with the walls. At that point O and I were packed back off to B&Q for some industrial worklights in the hope that they would help us paint into dusk. That evening after I had put O to bed I ventured downstairs to take a look.
“I’m not sure the lights were such a good idea” said S. “Look at the ceiling now”. I looked….It seemed fairly even. He flicked on the switch, illuminating the extent of the patchiness. I groaned. “Another coat?” I asked.
S swore. Later he said to his mam,”M thinks we need to do another coat…but if thats the case I’m getting my coat”.
This morning I was in no state to help. I had aborted enroute a trip to yet another museum as I was feeling so unwell and had spent the day instead laid up on the sofa in O’s room, reading and stickering with him until he, like me, fell asleep for what seemed like hours. C’s sander working away the paint on our larder door appeared in my consciousness every now and then but I didn’t mind. Hardly able even to walk I lay where I was, cuddling my baby, relieved by the thought that someone was doing something to get the house finished. Feeling a little better by the evening I watched an exhausted S reluctantly don painting clothes and offered feebly to help him fight the war against the ceiling. S would have none of it, insisting instead that I try and kick this fever.
I was asleep, curled around a hot water bottle, before he’d finished. . .