Papering over the cracks

Some people take a book into the toilet whereas I am to be found, in our shrine to the Thunderbox, with wallpaper. I’m neither short of reading material nor pushing the vanguard of the mystical readings of wallpaper runes “ no I’ve been decorating* This is a continuation of a worrying trend; first trellis, then grouting and now wallpapering have spookily accompanied a dribbly descent into my middle years.

We have no wallpaper anywhere else in the house, and neither Carol or I have ever attempted anything legal with a decorating table and paste before. That’s probably why she’s chosen the smallest room with its dearth of natural light and shortness of occupation. It’s unlikely anyone will spend enough time in there to gaze perplexed at the innovative use of Tippex and marker pens. Especially now I’ve removed the library shelf.

There’s a reason we’ve never felt the urge to subscribe to Wallpapering today encompassing Dull As Fuck DIY Tasks?. The apparently simple task of cutting, pasting and hanging is analogous to placing an angry octopus into a paper bag. Firstly shooing the kids off their impromptu hop scotch game as we rolled out the paper, then finding a table big enough to start pasting and then finding you can’t actually paste it without it either tearing or making a break for freedom. Applying the paste with a Creosote brush led to two off table and one on cat excursion. We’ve been onto the Cat Club about our new breed The Pissed Off Tabby now white with blue squares?.

Once wrenched off the table, it then sticks to absolutely everything including, on occasion, the wall. During one moment of hilarity, I wallpapered myself and ran around the kitchen shouting wooooo I am the ghost of wallpaper? which impressed everyone in the house under the age of eight. In my defense, this childish act was performed to relieve the tedium of the whole endeavour. It seemed to take bloody ages to line up, hang, re-hang, swear, re-hang, brush, roller, cut, self harm and scream give me a tin of paint? – I was expecting the Red Cross to be shipping in emergency food rations.

The instructions “ when did wallpaper start coming with instructions? “ insisted, that to maintain the pattern, you were obliged to chop off and discard many expensive inches. We soon saw through this thinly disguised marketing guff, instead applying the paper through the power of random. The result “ as you’d probably expect “ is magnificent. I would not be surprised if passing strangers are directed by guides to our smallest room, as a vignette of the old Grand Tour. It’s almost a copy of the Sistine chapel roof in there only flipped sideways, and with admittedly more paste than Michelangelo may have used. And less angels, but you get the idea.

I’m seriously considering charging admission and selling postcards.

Having completed this decorating Magnum Opus, a rather unsavoury fact has come to light. A depressingly vast acreage of house needs similar treatment starting with the Kid’s room, for which they have a design even Lawrence Flounce about like a great Poofta? Bowen would struggle to create. As ever being a results driven, self starter, thinking out of a box?** kind of guy, a solution immediately presented itself.

I’ll be paying someone else to do it. Some people apparently enjoy shopping for architrave and cricking their necks to paint the ceiling. I enjoy beer and laziness so playing to my strengths seems the way forward.

* That may be overstating my contribution.
** I read this somewhere, I don’t know what it means but it sounds like it may merit a pay rise so I’m giving it a try.

2 thoughts on “Papering over the cracks

  1. Mark

    Pictures, please, especially the ghost of wallpaper, and the cat in it’s white and blue phase. If you didn’t catch the moment, then the finished toilet will do, unless it will seriously compromise your income from postcards.

  2. Alex

    Well when you say “finished”, this may be somewhat overegging the current state of decoration. The cat has left home in a huff and the wallpaper ghost has passed into the netherworld lamentably unphotographed.

    Can send you some wallpaper paste if you like. There’s no way I’ll be needing it again!

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