A couple of days ago Amanda sat in my (new) kitchen telling me about her family's year in France, and her new adventure running a permaculture market garden, and then I got to tell her what I had been doing.
'Well, um, painting really. No really. Just painting.'
Sadly, so true. And as you can see, I don't even stop long enough to brush my daughters' hair. So, painting, and when I need a break from that, stripping paint. Not usually in the same place, except for one memorable evening when it was discovered that I had bought the wrong paint. So you can't paint water-based paint over enamel. I know that. Now. Oh, and the other thing I have been doing. Waiting at home for tradies to turn up. Or not, depending on whether it is their golf day, or whether it rained at their other job.
The excellently good news? I have a new kitchen. It is white and gleaming, and has drawers, actual drawers. People don't tend to believe me when I say I have lived without kitchen drawers for ten years, but it's amazing how much cutlery you can stuff in a wooden box, and tea towels piled in a cardboard box under a mouldy sink can be viewed as charmingly rustic. Really. But now, drawers for everything. And beautiful light, streaming in all day. The girls are painting the kitchen wall, standing where the kitchen sink now is, where I get to look out at my garden and keep an eye on what all the neighbours are up to. I have a new dining room, also drenched in sunlight, and a giant new family table. And we have our living room back. For months everyone crowded onto our bed to read, watch TV and play games. It was like being the old grannies in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And really, sometimes family togetherness can be just too much of a good thing.
And I'm loving the new white walls, which is great, because we picked a colour, bought the biggest can, and are just painting our way around the house with it. Painting, painting... tomorrow is another day. I'll be the one in the back room, with the paint brush..
Our new favourite in France – Bordeaux.
1 hour ago