Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Custard pie on the walls

My husband seems to be under the impression that I need projects to occupy my time during the summer holiday! Some projects crop up year in year out and never shift off the “to-do” list – like the garden and the decorating. Amazingly enough I have made serious inroads into both. I guess the fact that it is permanently raining does not make for nice days out and picnics, or stretching pasty white limbs out of the patio chair trying to persuade my skin to accept a tan.

The garden project saw me digging out the borders, spending quite a bit of savings money on some plants and battling with the beetles and creepy crawlies. God has been kind enough to take over the watering part of it! Sadly though, one small bedding area seems to have attracted something that eats the plants. All I have left is a few stalks – not leaves and no flowers!

The decorating project is also in hand – though not mine I have to add. I combed my way through the local directory for someone who knew what they were doing and owned a set of ladders to do the hall, landing and stairs! It would appear that summer is a busy time, and, although many were quite happy to have a look and send me a quote for the work, it would be sometime in September before they could start filling in the pocks and crevices with Polly filler.

One man assured me that if anyone could do my hall, landing and stairs in the immediate future, I would have to ask some serious questions about why he was not already busy with other jobs! That man, when I eventually found him – I didn’t ask any questions at all. I liked him! He talked about painting and decorating the way I would talk about writing poetry. Although he had only been in the business three years – as in turning professional – he loved it! Three years? The other man would be totally freaked out with that – him being in the business for three decades! I just liked him, instantly trusted that he would do a good job.

We are going for “Powder Blue” in the bathroom – did I mention that we are having the bathroom done too? We had a new bathroom put in a few months ago, and on account of a hole in the wall where the pipes used to run but no longer do, and even though we have done the bathroom before, we decided to leave that to the expert too. And for the walls of the hall landing and stairs we are going for “Custard Pie”. Why don’t they just say a nice pale terracotta shade? “We have custard pie on our walls.” Doesn’t quite make the grade!

They started today. The nice man bought his nephew with him – his apprentice. I had a quick check to see if he had ever sat in my classroom in a previous incarnation – but no, he was an unknown. I popped out the house to buy a packet of Tunnock’s Caramel Wafers for the men and, on my return, settled down with the laptop in the front room.

I pretty much left them to it. I suppose if I had a hankering to be a painter or decorator I might have watched them, but they seemed to know what they were doing – filling in pocks and crevices with Polly filler.

It was at the end of the day, Just as they were leaving, that the apprentice worked himself up sufficiently to ask the question that had been burning inside all day.

“The Bible upstairs? Do you…are you…a Christian?”

It turned out that he had just recently moved to Inverness. He went to one of the town centre churches. He fair beamed on discovering a fellow walker on the Way. If I was a little concerned about the lack of experience of the two of them, I know now that the apprentice at least will be doing the best job possible – because I am not his boss, but Jesus is! I suspect that his uncle might also be a man of God – which is why I liked him from the start.

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