Gary Strachan – "Write" Said Fred

Off The Wall Essays From Deep Within A Capricious Mind

The Family Who Paint Together….

Yesterday, I assisted my son Jonny with decorating the staircase and landing of the Skelton home he shares with his fiancee Jenny. A task volunteered for in the knowledge I’d be in good company and had my son’s blessing to sing along to the radio as tunelessly as I wanted…… Although, when agreeing to the latter he thought I meant on my car drive over to his. 

With this in mind, on Saturday Strachans senior and junior embarked on this home improvement venture. Work undertaken in possession of brush and roller from the ‘Who Needs Bristles’ range from Jonny’s local DIY store. Our work ethic augmented with an unquenchable determination to complete the job, despite using bristle-less brushes and not fit for purpose ladders.

Not ideally, as a consequence of confusion over a set of standard ladders, my offspring and I had to utilise step ladders. These were at best a dangerous workaround, and at worst introducing risk of us re-enacting the chaos of a Chucklevision episode.

This ladder mix up a result of my son dissuading me from bringing mine; claiming he had some in his garage which we could utilise. Unfortunately, Jonny omitted to inform me these ladders (left by the previous homeowner) were at least 12 foot tall. A size rendering manouevring them around his home a step too far, and thus unusable.

I suggested Jonny ring NASA in Houston, Texas, inquiring if they wanted to take them off his hands for use on spacecraft free satellite repairs. He grinned, made some off colour remark, before we both proceeded with the job in hand.

As I commenced painting the ceiling, my offspring set about ‘cutting in’ the lower part of the walls. While undertaking this work I regaled my boy with tales of the previous evening’s attendance at a gig performed by Rick Astley supported by Gabrielle.

Jonny inquiring if Gabrielle performed her hit single ‘Out of Reach’, which I replied to in the affirmative. Leading him to quip “Well, if no one else wants them, she might appreciate the 12 foot ladders then!”

Anyhow, over the course of the day my boy and me succeeded in getting two coats of emulsion on both ceiling and walls. The higher elements of the work on the staircase particularly challenging by using steps instead of standard ladders.

Sections painted with my offspring holding the stepladders while I stretched for all my worth to reach these areas with paint brush. Jonny assisted with this load bearing by a few inches of wall above the stairs.

A task not enhanced aesthetically by being exposed to his stretching father’s builders bum. He survived though, even quipping later “Thank god you don’t decorate in a kilt!”

My son and Jenny, who was in her native Newcastle yesterday so couldn’t assist, are today partaking in glossing of woodwork element and applying any necessary wall/ceiling emulsion touch ups.

I think on completion of their work that’ll be the whole of their recently purchased home decorated over a six week period. Good going from the affianced, along with parents/friends from both sides.

As my dear old mum once observed “A family the paints together stays together.” A positive spin by Maggie on how a family dynamic can be made more robust by assisting each other with home improvements….. That being said, though, she’s done b***er all to help her grandson with the decorating of his new home, the chuffing hypocrite!!

Categories: Blogs, family, fiction, humour

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