I am smack bang in the middle of the one operational window I get each year, where, for a few weeks, I can forget that my body doesn’t work: things like holidays and love seem attainable, and the whole of the last eight years is dimmed, like a dark and improbable dream told to me by a stranger, and only half believed. I love this time of year.
Before, when I was well, the house almost always smelled of paint because
a) it needed EVERYTHING doing to it when I moved in – seriously, everything. Rewiring, replastering, replumbing, oy, the works; and
b) I loved doing it.
I am never happier than when muddy or painty, filthy, in old clothes, left to my own devices to BE filthy and in old clothes. Anyway, aside from one happy anomaly, in the last six years I’ve done no decoration or DIY except to repaint my bedroom about three years ago.
Long before that, I decided that my porch minged. I bought the architrave necessary to de-ming it (shh, it is a word NOW); and I propped it inside the front door, and there it has stayed probably for seven years. Maybe longer.
Here is an example of how minging my porch was:
Despite the fact that I almost always have had this period in the spring where I feel fairly normal, I have never felt normal enough to get any decoration done. This year’s different, in that this year for the first time, I’m gluten-free, and although that’s such a maligned and buzz-wordy thing to embrace, the fact is, it has made – and continues to make – a colossal difference to my health. It hasn’t cured me. But it has taken a layer of suffering off me that has real and measurable impact on what I can achieve on a good day. I’ve been off gluten for nearly four months now and am still noticing improvements. I don’t know where that will end.
Anyway, I had Daddy here for Easter, and he kindly took me to get some paint and things (just getting them would ordinarily use up any energy I had for doing anything once I had them), and here’s the result:
My porch is now very clean and bright. The cellar spiders that colonised the ceiling have been carefully lifted off with a soft broom and persuaded out. The wood is primed. The gaps are caulked. The brick, bell, frame and doors are painted. The lamp is re-hung at a less annoying height. And in the next couple of days I should finally get that architrave cut, pinned and painted.
None of this is a big deal. Except it is. It’s a transformation I effected, and being the entrance to the house, a key one.
Of course, that bell doesn’t WORK. But let’s not nit pick.