Sunshine and Wallpaper

Really enjoyed the lovely sunny straw hat and hammock type weather but for some reason it sometimes made me want to do more housekeeping. Fine in moderation but… You know what I mean. Pottered into the sitting-room one shiny Sunday morning…had made mug of tea and thought I was in mooching about mood. Then found myself tearing huge strips of wallpaper off a sitting-room wall. It was a long overdue job. Something I’d pondered about somewhat dreamily. Okay, so the wallpaper was very old and a wee bit of it was loose…a previous owner had chosen it. But what about those swanky photos in glossy supplements that can make half painted kitchens in France look fabulous? ‘We made the table from a bit of wood we found in a skip and concocted the cushions out of discarded horse blankets…the unpainted cement floors are so cooling in summer.’ That sort of thing.

Anyway…a longish while later I was still yanking off the wallpaper and occasionally remembering those tv before and after makeover programmes. ‘Wow what a difference that makes!” That sort of thing. The difference the pulling of said wallpaper made was that it left the wall looking like it belonged in an abandoned villa in Rhodes (I know this because I have been in such a villa). The varieties of faded paint revealed by my eager tuggings were interesting but not anything like as picturesque as the sun-bleached ones I’d seen by the Med.

I left it as it was for some days. At least it was evidence that the house was in the process of some vague kind of interior decoration project…buckets of paint in the kitchen…a paint roller tossed casually on basket in bathroom…has a similar effect. But yesterday, a sunny Bank Holiday Monday, I got around to tugging nearly all the wallpaper off the wall (will need a stepladder for the bits very near ceiling). Had to dampen the really stuck on bits. Was aware that there was some sort of contraption that does this but would probably need to hire it.. Heaven knows when I would get around to that. Listening to a radio programme playing atmospheric old songs like ‘Something In The Air’ by Thunderclap Newman really helped (thanks Ronan Collins on RTE Radio One).

I then painted a large part of the wall. (Some of it needs a light layer of new plaster…yipes…have already had a chat about Polyfilla with an acquaintance who has done house-painting professionally.) After that found myself ‘clearing’ some old stuff from my patio garden and other odd jobs (I told myself relocating large containers of plants might help tone arms and was far cheaper than joining a gym…however had eaten a number of digestive biscuits earlier with some ‘mature’ Cheddar cheese.) Thank goodness it was still sunny by the time I slumped into a comfy and fairly light armchair (lugged from the kitchen). Had a gorgeous sleepy cuppa and mellowed out in the heat. And later on was so pleased that the weather was nice for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert. What a wonderful feast of music and fun and celebration! Adored the images projected onto Buckingham Palace.

Warm wishes and sparkles,


‘…a novel which by turns had me laughing (aloud) entranced and, by the end a little bit wiser than I was at the beginning. In ‘The Truth Club’ Grace Wynne-Jones has produced a book in which the eclectic characters almost leap from the pages…the book also contains a perfect man, Nathaniel, who ‘almost always’ says the right thing….’ Ireland on Sunday

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