This week my priority is to prep and organise so that next week decoration can continue in earnest with the lounge being next on the agenda. Therefore I spent a bitty day doing odds and sods….filling the nail holes in the skirting, oiling the now vented shelf on top of the oven ready for bottles, plant and radio to be replaced atop it, completing the blackboard door and overseeing the replacement of hood and bars on our lounge fireplace, the dirty work booked for early next week after which more serious painting can commence.
With filler and oil drying and access to the extension blocked by a bulky C working away on his understair cupboard project, I decided it might be a good use of time to begin tackling the long overdue task of sorting out my haul of 31 frames, collected from charity shops and garages on my recent three week refuge to family in The North. Unsure where they will all finally reside I have instead numbered and fashioned a corresponding template for each from old magazines. Once the paint trays and rollers have finally been packed away I can play about with compositions by tacking the templates to the wall rather than trying to manhandle the actual frames around. In addition I measured them for mounting card trying wherever possible to reuse the existing…my motives being, I’ll admit, financial rather than green following some recent fun and games at a framers.
I had discovered, a couple of weeks ago, that I had a pair of frames which, with mounts cut to size, would be perfect for the robot pictures bought for O by his aunt and uncle at Christmas. Excited at the thought of adding a finishing touch to his room, I had carried them under my arm into a small local shop I hoped to support with some business.
“Hello” I’d said…..as is customary on entering. The owner, looking up from his work had thrown me a cursory glance before returning to his job in hand.
“Hello” I said again, “I’d like mounting card cut for these frames please”.
Replacing his tools on the bench he sauntered over.
“Those frames?” he had asked, lip curling.
Feeling somewhat foolish I’d looked down shamefully at the pair in question. Their backing board was missing, the old picture being pushed up to the glass by gaffer tape and cardboard. The frames themselves were a yellowed pine…but structurally sound with the glass undamaged. A makeover, I had felt sure, could bring them back to life. Under the owners incredulous stare I was less certain.
“We are trying where we can to reuse ….so I’ve been collecting old frames.” I explained self consciously. “These ones I’m going to paint yellow to go with my sons room. So I just need the card …perhaps some new backing board….but don’t worry about fixing the pictures in…I’ll tape them up when I’ve painted them.” I paused uncomfortably as his eyes scanned disbelievingly over the frames I had by this time singlehandledly and awkwardly manoeuvred onto his bench.
“Yellow” It was a statement saturated with disgust more than a question but I answered it with a nod nevertheless.
Reluctantly he set about measuring the pictures and frames whilst tossing me various corners of card with which to decide on my colour of preference.
“Just white” I said eventually.
“I think that’s best…..with yellow” he agreed disdainfully and with a scribble handed me the bill. I had gulped. Embarrassed, I paid. More fool me, I’d thought as I left the shop to be told they would be ready in a week. Today the incident, though still raw, made me smugly smile.
“And more fool him” I thought as I made a note of how many more of my 31 frames needed new card. Ill be taking my business elsewhere and, failing that, will resort to a trip to WH Smith, a steady hand and a Stanley knife.
That said we are quite some way from the point in time where we will be thinking about which photos to put on the walls so for now my frames are bagged and waiting to be taken up to the loft, meeting as they go up the boxes of kitchenware slowly making their their way in the opposite direction. Seven have already had their contents swallowed up by our accommodating kitchen, with more I suspect yet to come though for now they are probably best left where they are. We lack still the L shaped shelf which will extend from the oven and wrap around the kitchen area on which we will display our jars of pulses, pasta etc plus cups and glasses and maybe some other favourite items such as our Picquotware which we have been collecting over the years….the teapot salvaged by my father-in-law from the bottom of his garden, used for years as a watering can now gleamingly refurbished, a matching sugar bowl and milk jug found nestled in the window of an old junk shop and a kettle only recently usurped by the beeping electric one, forced into early retirement by the purchase of the induction hob upon which it will not work.
As I happily concern myself with this level of decorative detail, K the plumber accompanied by P the tiler busily destroy our old bathroom …the pink ceramic sink and cistern lying in smithereens in the skip and a number of the lilac and white tiles wrenched from the walls. Tomorrow the new sanitaryware is due to arrive with the shower being the first section they will install, allowing us to then move ourselves across for all our washing needs as they turn their attention to the bath wall. The obscene amounts of newly created dust blanketing everything once again is barely a concern as S and I watch in pleasure as a loathed room is brutally dismantled.
Pleasurable is not the word to best describe either my or O’s bath this evening however….amidst bags of rubble and in full view of the neighbours. But at the rate they are going it shouldn’t be long until we have our spacious family bathroom. Within which there may be room for a frame. Yellow?