Thursday, June 21

Interior Decorating

Over the years, we have lived in a lot of houses. We have had lots of different styles of houses. With many differing colour schemes- some, none too pretty either.

When I was a young child, I lived in many houses too. It must have been the pattern of my life to be somewhat of a Gypsy.

It had long been my mother's dream to own her own house. She worked very hard, & was a good saver, & a very good housekeeper. After living in a somewhat grotty inconvenient back flat, which had a copper to be boiled for washing, she finally had enough money for a deposit for her own home.

So began our rounds of looking at houses for sale. Always something wrong. Too expensive. Too shabby. In need of too much repair. But finally she found a warm house, with garish colours in every room. Unbelievable colours. Colours to make you sick- some of them looked like sick. All four walls, in each room, painted different bright & ugly, colours! Indescribable blues, greens, orangey brick, reds. All mixed by hand I would think, & most quite patchy as well. The 'new batch, hadnt quite matched', sort of ugly.

It was currently tennanted, by a family with young children. The young family were quite prepared not to stay on. And so, finally, my mother had her very own house.

As an aside here, the little girl who had previously lived in the house with her family when they rented it, continued to duck in, & use the toilet each day. Imagine my mother's surprise when *ahem* brown things appeared mysteriously, daily, in the toilet bowl. Finally my mother caught the little girl one day, & had to tell her she must not continue to use the toilet, as it was no longer her home! We never found out why she didnt flush, but it must have been so she wouldnt be caught.

One of the first things she decided to do, to improve the house, was to repaint all the rooms, to get rid of the ugly colours, as money would allow. I am inclined to use pastel or neutral shades for my choice in my house. Mum was much the same. So we painted away, & gradually the house became my mother's home.
One of the last rooms to get a makeover was the sunny lounge. It was, & still is, a very warm room, & always seemed to have a warmth quite apart from the weather or climate.

At the time, I was 'keeping company' (haha, dont you just love that quaint phrase!) with a young man, I shall call Ted Nitpicsty. Ted was a tall sallow skinned man, with long limbs that seemed to somehow 'dangle'. Ted professed to love most music, but was especially fond of jazz- I have posted long ago about a visit to a 'jazz' club, with Ted. St Vitus Dance sufferers have nothing on Ted listening to jazz.

Ted also loved Mahler, & once subjected me to a whole four hours of listening to some of it- at top volume! It cured me for life.

However, even though I cant really remember what the initial attraction was to Ted, the final straw in his getting 'the order of the boot', as my mother used to put it, was when he promised he was a great painter, with impeccable interior decorating skills, & would gladly paint my mother's lounge room for her.

And, he would lend us his paintings he had bought, to hang on the walls. Never mind the fact that the paintings were not really my mother's taste, & in reality not even really a good size for the space & style of room, my mother politely said that was very kind of Ted. So the pictures duly were brought & hung- before the painting of the walls had begun.

The weekend came, & Ted arrived to stay, & painting was to proceed. No sooner had the top been taken off the paint tin, than Ted was afflicted with a violent blinding migraine! He had to retire to the darkened bedroom, & all needed to be kept quiet, & very still.

So we closed the bedroom door, the passage door, & prepared the walls for painting. And applied the first coat of paint. Tea time. Mum cooking a delicious meal. Sheepish Ted, miraculously recovered, & ravening for food, appears. To wolf down huge helpings of said delicious food.

Next day, further preparations for the painting. Further painfully debilitating migraine attack!

More delish meals cooked, more huge helpings, disappearing down the gullet of miraculously recovered Ted.

This went on for several weekends. Finally we got it. Of course by then we had painted the damn room ourselves, with 3 coats of paint, needed to blot out garish prior painting.

Mr Ted Nitpicsty was given his paintings to take home, & his phone calls were not answered.

My brother will remember Ted vividly. I think he might have been awake to him, long before I was!

The house, is still in the family. When my brother married, he bought the house from our mother, & he lived many happy years there, until he built a new house, on the large piece of land at the back of the old house. Now my nephew & his partner have bought the house from my brother. It is still a warm welcoming house!


Guðrún said...

Poor Ted, always having a migraine attack LOL

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

I couldn't stop laughing over Ted, and the little girl who visited your toilet. Very funny tales indeed.

Connie said...

I laugher aloud, not once, not twice, but three times while reading this post. It takes A LOT to make me laugh have the knack for it, my friend. :D

Catalyst said...

You have a wonderful storytelling ability, Meggie. As Ted might have said about your mother's meals, "keep 'em coming."

Henri said...

Meggie --- you are quite right about the colours in the old place when we moved in Whoever had done it had to be colour blind .It also had about six layers of wallpaper, all very badly hung , on top of one another in a couple of the rooms Absolutely mindboggling .
You are also right about the " feel " of the place - it always did ( even with those horrible colours ) . and still does ,make everyone feel welcome, warm and comfortable -- DJ and K are good hosts too .
Ah,as to Ted , You are right Meggie ,I think I realised at first meeting that he was a pretentious fool with the ability to bore everyone within earshot very quickly & also that he had no intention whatsoever of actually 'doing' any work himself ,His only talent that I was aware of was the ability to eat staggering amounts of food at one sitting .Mary and I were less than sad when you gave him the Order of the Boot .

Lucy said...

How did you decide on the name Nitpicsty? It's wonderful, is it an anagram?

YankeeQuilter said...

Ted and one of my bothers had a lot in common! Love the story.

Jeanette said...

hi Meggie good story telling could help have a laugh at ted getting sudden Migraines when there was work to be done...

Princess Banter said...

Nitpicsty? That's an ace name!!! Hahaha :)

meggie said...

Hi all.
I might have another 'go' at Ted! He was rich fodder for laughter.
He had one of those very unusual names, which might be recognized in New Zealand, so I just invented Nitpicsty. He was somewhat of a nit picker over certain things.

Tanya Brown said...

Here I am, commenting "a day late and a dollar short" as usual.

You gave me a good laugh before bedtime last night, paricularly with the St. Vitus Dance comment. These are some great yarns, what with the little girl having to revisit her defecation spot (sort of like a salmon swimming back to its spawning spot?) and that young wastrel Ted. Ted sounded a bit like a character out of a P.G. Wodehouse novel.

Fairlie said...

He he he...the old paint-induced migraine excuse.

What a great story!

meggie said...

Tanya, we decided the toilet visit was because she had trainer her bowels to hold out just so far, & had been used to just making it home after school!
Fairlie, yes he really was incredible, & the miraculous recovery every time he smelt food was quite a laugh at our place for years!

meli said...

What a nice story! How sweet to keep a place in the family. We seem to lose all ours.