House arrest blog: Day 9

By Simon Richardson (Editor)

Wool carpet and matt emulsion – not a match made in heaven…

I was interested to read a quote in an Indian publication yesterday. It said: ‘For the first time in history we can save the human race by lying in front of the TV and doing nothing. Let’s not screw this up.’  It referred of course to the little matter of Covid19 lockdowns.

Well, my better half and I are now well into week two of our house arrest after our recent trip to the UK, and I can honestly say, hand on heart (maybe not, it’s a bit Trumpish), that far from sprawling in front of the box sifting through the daytime TV detritus, we’ve been quite busy. We’ve opted for the alternative motto ‘in a time of destruction create something.’

Actually, that’s probably overstating it a bit – we’ve decorated the living room. 

Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? Well, believe me, it’s not as easy as we thought – once the ability to pop out to Felton’s in Ramsey or B&Q when you run out of stuff is removed from the equation….. or something goes horribly wrong.

We thought we’d got everything ready and in place to crack on after returning to the Island. We’d bought the paint, brushes, wallpaper paste, Stanley knife blades, first aid kit etc. All was good to go…..

Now then, I’m not ashamed to say, I like a bargain. But, on this occasion, I had resisted my natural temptation to buy the cheapest version of everything, and had gone upmarket. The paint I opted for was ‘Valspar Perfect White’ – much dearer and apparently whiter than normal white paint. 

What they didn’t mention was that it turned to cream cheese if you ran the brush over it more than twice, and dried out overnight into a kind of cracked ice pattern. So, day one and the paint I’d bought was unusable and I only had half a 2.5 litre tin of good old Dulux lying around to get the ball rolling – or the roller in this instance.

You’ll remember I said in my last blog that it was probably OK to ask friends and neighbours to rally round with the odd pint of milk or a loaf, but a trip to B&Q was a bit cheeky? Well, needs must, and my next-door neighbour, and all-round top bloke, Gareth saved the day – diverting to B&Q on his way to town, and later dropping off a shiny new 5 litre tin of Dulux. My wife Noni rustled up some of her celebrated chocolate cupcakes as a show of gratitude ……but had to quickly withdraw the goodies when it dawned on her that hand prepared artisanal delights were not an appropriate offering from people in quarantine for possible Coronavirus infection.

Sorry Gareth, they were excellent. I had one with my lunch a bit earlier and they were spot on. She was at the top of her game. There’s still a few left – mmm… maybe one with a cupper mid afternoon? Sorry, I digress.

The rest of the project seemed to be going reasonably well…..until – an hour or so into Saturday morning – I turned sharply and knocked most of the original half empty tin of paint from the top step of my ladder, sending a huge pool of white matt emulsion onto our cream coloured wool carpet – the only bit of our virtually new cream coloured wool carpet, that wasn’t covered by dust sheets.

Those who know my sweet, mild-mannered better half would have been shocked at her turn of phrase. Something that roughly translates to a person lacking in intelligence and of unknown parentage. The crisis was exacerbated by our house arrest; we couldn’t leave the confines of our property to buy the products that might give us at least a one in 5000 chance of removing the paint without leaving a stain.

The good news though is that gallons of warm soapy water, the kitchen roll equivalent of the New Forest, and most of the T towels in the house, ensured we now have a barely discernible stain, the size of a side plate. Time will tell whether the boss will be able to live with it for long.

STOP PRESS: Two days on and, as I feared, the rumblings of discontent have started. Hopefully by the time our house arrest comes to an end and we are able to go out and look at new carpets, the mark may have faded?… 


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