Today I have been painting. Remember the amazingly colourful doors I bought at the tip shop for Rosy's room? When we bought the house there was no door on the doorway up to the attic, which clearly had been intended to be used for storage or maybe a studio. Anyway, no door, so after I received a very scary quote from a builder to build a double door for us in the space, I went to the tip shop and found the very thing for $15. The handyman just cut a bit off the bottom and it fit perfectly. Amazing! But very pink and blue. The girls are away visiting their dad this week so I am spending a peaceful few days painting. I also had some shelves built in my room when we moved into our house, and they need to be painted too. This is why I had to wait for the girls to leave, as I had to pile everything that lives on the shelves (all my clothes. Our whole linen collection) onto my bed for three days while I paint, and I am sleeping in Posy's room.
My room draped in drop sheets after undercoating the shelves and covering myself in paint.
It turns out that in the shed I have enough paint (I hope) to do two top coats of the doors and the shelves, but there was no undercoat. So this morning I did some research on which small business stocked low VOC paint, and then I found one and spent some time on Google maps (I am somewhat directionally challenged) to find out how to negotiate that particular tricky bit of highway (the only one in town, of course) and finding where to park (nowhere, by the looks of it), when I finally switched my brain on and realised it was only about a twenty minute walk away. So I walked in the sunshine and bought my paint, and it was even less than fifteen minutes' walk in the end.
I have noticed a strange phenomenon - in my head things are further away than they really are. When I start walking I get there quicker than I ever imagined. The range of places I am willing to walk to has expanded enormously over the past couple of weeks.
I am a very messy painter and always manage to cover myself in paint. While I was busy doing this I wondered if I could have acquired the undercoat I needed in some other way. Could I have asked around to find out if anyone had any in the back of the shed they weren't using? Does our local tip shop sell paint? I haven't seen any, but then I haven't been looking either. Could I have advertised on freecycle? My problem with freecycle is that I have signed up twice now and forgotten my password both times. The internet is way too hard for me..
This brings me to the next subject I would like to consider on the Quiet Riot Project. Stuff. What are the ethical dilemmas involved in buying stuff? Well, you know I have held forth at length on this subject. I mostly buy second hand, but this year I have to do some things. I want a rainwater tank. I want solar hot water heating, and maybe some PV panels. I want extensive fencing for chickens. I think these are all excellent things to buy as stuff goes, but it always irks me to make the choice to buy things in order to use less.. I feel like a really resourceful person could crochet chicken fences out of wire coat hangers, whip up a rainwater tank with a piece of old roofing iron and a welder and cobble together a solar panel with more roofing iron and a fan (clever reader Angus did just that). Just buying stuff seems so tame in comparison. I think in my head I live in The Little House on the Prairie with The Swiss Family Robinson. I think this is possibly quite a good thing, because when I think about trying new and odd things like making yoghurt and knitting chicken fences, it seems totally normal.
Does anyone else worry about this kind of thing while they are painting? Maybe I should just listen to the radio..