It’s Not All Mary Poppins

What I’m doing on my Summer Vacation

It is eight in the morning. The only sound in the house is the hissing of the shower upstairs. The dog sits curled on the couch beside me, the curve of her back nestled against my hip. (Yes, she’s allowed on the couch. She is not allowed on our bed. She knows the difference.) Birds in the trees outside.

I do not hear the trundle of small feet, the chatter of small voices, the bellow of not-so-small outrage.

I am, you see, on holiday. (And before any of you start with the well-meaning questions re: travel that all my clients have asked of me, let me answer them pre-emptively: I am not going anywhere. I am not going anywhere because there are no funds to take me, and certainly not me and assorted family members, anywhere. There never are, and that’s all we need to talk about that, okay?)

But don’t worry, I have plans!

I have already put the first coat of paint on the bathroom!!!

And… it looks like shit. Not because of the colour (yellow), but because this is an old house. As soon as the wall was painted a smooth uniform colour (as opposed to the textured effect given by its previous mottled white coat of dust-and-flaking-paint) turns out to be not so smooth. It has bumps and divots, cracks and crannies. And the fresh, pretty paint highlights each and every one.

So today, instead of painting the trim the shiny white as planned, I will be mixing up a paler shade of yellow and ragging it over the first coat. Then I’ll probably do a third coat of white. The idea being to create texture — pretty, painted texture, far better than dust-and-flakes texture — which will camoflage the bumps-and-divots texture. That’s the theory, anyway.

THEN I will put on the shiny white trim.

And then there was yesterday’s task: a mattress for my daughter’s bed. But not just any mattress, you understand. This bed is not a simple rectangle, like every other bed in the world. This one has “five sides and not one right angle”, to quote our carpenter friend who built it for the cost of the materials — and the fun of working on such a weird project.

So, Mary has two pieces of foam appropriate for a mattress, between them amply big enough to fit in the frame. But nothing like the necessary shape. That’s okay, because Mary also has ingenuity, courage, chalk, and a bread knife!

It didn’t take that long, either. Dump the foam in the frame, mark the edges, cut with knife. Just like cutting slices from a loaf of bread! It’s all in there. Now we will glue the edges of the pieces together with spray adhesive, cover all with a foam topper, and encase in custom-made* mattress cover… with five sides and no right angles…

*Custom-made by me, of course. Out of old sheets. That, however, is tomorrow’s task.

Today I am ragging the bathroom.

August 18, 2008 Posted by | holidays | , , | 8 Comments