It was 1020 am on a chilly November Saturday morning, I was driving home from work down the Old Kent Road and B&Q was my destination. Yep. B&Q. Erm. WHEN DID THIS BECOME A ‘THING’? In my entire 3 years of living in London, I have NEVER set foot in a DIY store. Ikea doesn’t count. I only went for the Meatballs. (and yes, I always get 20. Yum.)
You see, break ups do funny things to people. In the first few weeks you go up, then down, then repeat. I went from feeling utterly rubbish about it all, to suddenly feeling free. For me, that new freedom & energy needed to be translated into doing something positive. So, I decided to paint my living room.
I pulled in to the car park and grabbed a trolley. I strolled confidently into the store, then it hit me. I haven’t got a sodding clue what I’m doing. After a brief moment of self doubt, I approached an assistant to find out what was required for such a job. Into the trolley went brushes, rollers, masking tape, dust sheets, and the unnecessary, but I decided, NEEDED, option….OVERALLS.
Then, the cold, hard goods. The paint. I had my eyes firmly set on ‘Millionaire’s Gold’. The gaudy option. The one that footballers wives probably order by the ton. The one that the Magpie in me would have totally gone for, then instantly regretted. Thankfully, it was out of stock. Apparently, Hugh Hefner had ordered a job lot for his boudoir. That’s a blatant lie. Bet he’d love it though.
I went for the more muted, and way cooler, Metallic Gold. It was at this point I decided to paint the back wall in the same room, purple. Again though, a nice shade. Think more ‘Soft Aubergine’ than ‘Screaming Purple Rain’….
Upon arriving home, I got everything ready, then set about cracking the boring bit. MASKING TAPE AND FILLING IN. Jesus. Give me strength. I cracked open the Red at that point. Then came the fun part. The PROPER painting. With the radio blasting, a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon in one hand and a roller in the other, I was in my element.
Over the next 2 days, I got through 3 rollers, 2 tins of paint, a roll of masking tape and 4 bottles of Wolf Blass…. By the end of it, I had a GORGEOUS, shimmering gold chimney breast, a fabulously chic purple back wall, and new arm muscles from all the solid hard work. Extendable paint rollers are the new kettle bells. Fact.
I stood back, folded my arms and took a long hard look at my handiwork. For the first time in a while I felt sheer pride. Sure, it wasn’t 100% perfect, but it was all my own work. For me, painting was a form of release and also the next step to reclaiming my confidence and independence. And it felt incredible.
The icing on the cake came when the ex came over to collect the remainder of his things a few days later. Eyes and mouth open wide, he declared ‘it looks amazing!’, followed by – ‘Wait, did YOU do that?’
With a wry smile, I nodded, then sent him on his way…..
Until next time…. L Xxx