Paint and Coming

Usually when things are expensive they’re ordinary things that have been held up to cameras by smiling twits. You’re paying the fee for the twit rather than the cost of the ingredients. With Farrow and Ball paint, I’d gladly be that twit, and I wouldn’t feel I was misleading those baying legions of fans. It’s great. I’m thrilled with it. It’s lovely to use. Tick.

We painted the ceiling with a basic B&Q type paint and it was far less satisfying. It was like wiping the ceiling with a chalky sock. It didn’t even cover the oily brown stains that come when I don’t get the bucket up the ladder in time. Now the bedroom walls are finished. They catch the light beautifully. When I do the other rooms I guess I’ll have to budget accordingly and try some more. I can be a cheapskate with the finish instead of the ingredients. Like putting a beautiful meal on a basic plate…

“In terms of finish do you want Polish Builder, or expensive decorator?” asks Jethro.

It’s Polish Builder every time with me, assuming as I do that Polish Builders are the people you employ to just get the job done quickly and cheaply. Many Polish Builders do a wonderful etc etc many other countries etc etc etc etc

The point being, I don’t really see the edges, even if I’m looking. People that do see the edges tend to disturb me as much as people who miss the point and derail perfectly good sentences in order to police gross generalisations about Polish Builders.

In the middle of the day a surveyor came to look at the ancient water ingress into my flat. Finally. That’s been a decade or so of me mentioning it to no avail. He was laconic and rather pleasant, with the ease of a man who has made a very large amount of money. By the feel of it he might say the right things to make it so I don’t have to climb a ladder with a bucket whenever there’s a rainstorm. He’ll make more money, I’ll spend more money. I’m making overtures to get the work I’ve already had done retrospectively covered by the insurance. Fingers crossed.

Then as soon as it was all done, I had to join a zoom meeting with a few of the lovely people who practice disobedient Buddhism in my district. They’ve worked out that I’ll almost always sack it off if they haven’t given me a responsibility. “Will you read a poem of your choice?” Every. Fucking. Time.

I chose this one. Larkin. So right for just now that even if it’s not really a performance poem, it begged to be the one. And I like to try to prioritise content over style. Much as it would have been lovely to smash out one of Romantics and make everybody fall in love with me. Next time. Here’s the Larkin. I should have noodled on my guitar. I basically read it in the same way I’d try and read Keats.


On longer evenings,

Light, chill and yellow,

Bathes the serene

Foreheads of houses.

A thrush sings,


In the deep bare garden,

Its fresh-peeled voice

Astonishing the brickwork.

It will be spring soon,

It will be spring soon—

And I, whose childhood

Is a forgotten boredom,

Feel like a child

Who comes on a scene

Of adult reconciling,

And can understand nothing

But the unusual laughter,

And starts to be happy.

Sunset from a Brighton Roof – by Lou

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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