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Linda Alstead | all galleries >> walking in my shoes - 2006 diary > 30th October 2006 - once upon a time love was here
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30th October 2006 - once upon a time love was here

30th October 2006 - once upon a time love was here

I’m probably only 3-4 hours away from the end of the torture that has been preparing our dining room for plastering. It’s now taken me most of three days (luckily for me I’m on holiday at the moment – if I’d spent three days doing it then had to work, I’d have been pig-sick). I reckon, as I said, that half a day tomorrow will see the end of the wretched job…..that’s if it hasn’t seen me off first.

The problem has been a layer of painted paper sandwiched between the deeply hideous cream and beige fleck (top left) and the nuclear-bunker-fall-out green of the painted plaster (bottom right). That’s meant that a steamer is useless so it’s been hours upon hours chipping paint off so I can get the rest of the paper off.

One thing about the painted layer is that it’s been stencilled – sunflowers along the bottom of the walls and round the window (in the photo) and grapes along the top of the walls. So, someone once loved this room enough to spend time and energy stencilling. It’s a great pity that person is long gone and since then, the owners of the house have, at the kindest viewpoint, not cared two figs about the house. How can they do that really? Live somewhere like this and be so uncaring about their surroundings that they let the house gradually fall apart beneath their feet.

I find myself wondering was the person who did the stencilling the same person who planted up the garden…..or are there two people in the house’s past, one who cared for the garden and another who cared for the house itself. It makes me happy that someone cared.

Mostly, when I decorate, I find myself planning a scheme and then discovering there is some degree of similarity between what I’m about to do and something about the historical décor. That’s sort of happened here – though my plans are a bit more outlandish than stencilled flowers on a cream background.

When I agreed to this crazy plan of two rooms finished by Christmas, DM sold it to me in a way he knew I would find irresistible. He’d got a notepad with a list of jobs needing to be done to complete the room, in both cases it started along the lines of get the biggest bloody sledgehammer you can find and knock the shit out of the place….it then got a bit more positive and the bottom line said ‘Linda’s magic’.

When I asked him what he meant by that he said ‘well, I’d make it beige and austere and hang photos on the walls but you have a knack of making things beautiful’. You see? I’m such a complete sucker that I fell for it. Now I’ve got myself saddled with DIY when I’m supposed to be enjoying a hard-earned rest……how did that happen again…..could you run that by me one more time? Ah yes, I am a complete sucker.

As for love being here and then being gone, rest assured, it's back!

Last year, my subject was milk bottles.

Canon EOS 10D
1s f/8.0 at 100.0mm iso100 full exif

other sizes: small medium original
Mindy 09-Nov-2006 22:33
Oh definitely your premise that one was for the garden, one was for the house... :)

People come to my home to bath in lilacs and hollyhocks, sunflowers and fairy bowers but within my house ACK!!!!! I need a maid, I need a maid!

Kevin Sargent31-Oct-2006 02:21
I love your reflections and this shot!
Al Chesworth30-Oct-2006 20:34
Top marks for perseverance, I would have used the sledgehammer.
David Mingay30-Oct-2006 19:59
Beige? No, that would be a compromise. White. Bare wood floor. Black & White photographs on the wall. An art gallery with furniture. What more could you want? Oh yeah. Linda's magic touch...