Hello beautiful, wonderful Oxgrowers…
As you probably know by now, the pavilion down at the Common is undergoing a period of transformation, from under-used sports utility building to eco-cafe extravaganza. The work is well underway. Painting is almost done, the kitchen is being refurbished, and a ‘pimp-my-furniture’ stronghold has set up camp. The cafe is opening on 9th June, so keep your eyes peeled for news of the super-duper-exciting opening event. In the meantime, check out the blog for updates.
50 Litres of Drawing Room Red Later: The Painting of the Hogacre Pavilion
Day 1. The painting begins. I sand and clean and prepare, which all the instructions on google have informed me are essential in guaranteeing a professional finish. It takes a really long time. It is really boring. After over 12 hours I haven’t even started painting. I lay down plastic sheeting, and in my state of exhaustion induced insanity I make myself a cape. I forget to take it off. I go outside for a break and converse with a dog walker, still wearing my cape. As I turn to go back inside, a gust of wind reminds me of the presence of my cape. I make an executive decision that it is time to call it a day. I remove my cape, and go home. All night I dream that I am sanding.
5:30AM. The Shipping Forecast. Already two cups of tea into the day. Managed to smear paint across my eyelids, and I have a ‘paint dreadlock’ which proved resistant to yesterday evening’s shower. In an attempt to preserve my shoes, I am barefoot. This is a mistake. My feet are covered in paint. My arms are covered in paint. I’m no longer entirely sure what colour my skin is. I think I am losing my mind.
The situation improves once the Today programme starts. I have a banana and listen to Thought for the Day. The first layer of the walls is dry, and I’m about to start on the doors. Then the skirting boards. Windows follow shortly after. I lose track of time, go for a walk then somehow manage to fall asleep on the grass. I have been painting for 14 hours. I can no longer distinguish between myself and the walls. I decide to call it a day. When I get home, I am alarmed at my lack of eyebrows. Upon closer inspection it seems I have just managed to paint them white. I go to bed.
Day 3: Today is better. Fourth and final coat on the walls before Desert Island Discs starts. Skirting boards and doors finished during Woman’s Hour. I start on the windows, decide to take a break, and fall asleep on the floor. I wake up with the imprint of the floorboard on my face. Sexy. Almost done, just windows left to do. Around 4 I decide to call it a day. Over 40 hours of painting in 3 days has driven me mad. I am not sure I can remember who I am. I go home and sleep for 15 hours. I wake up feeling like a new woman.
My painting experience has taught me many things. I have a newfound respect for all interior decorators. I just never realised painting was this difficult. The experience probably ranks amongst my top 10 most mentally traumatic life experiences. It at least makes the top 20. I have also cemented my affinity with floorboards. Sitting on the floor has always been a passion of mine. I can now add sleeping on the floor to that list. The final life lesson I shall take away from this experience: you will always need more masking tape than you think.