On Saturday morning I awoke at Shoestring Cottage with a sinking heart, despite the fact that I was comfortably tucked up under my rose-strewn duvet. I had resolved that I was going to help Mr Shoestring paint the roof, having boasted to my girlfriends all week that I was planning to spend the weekend sewing glamorous art deco weekend evening dresses. But in all conscience Mr Shoestring could not be left to paint the roof alone, especially as it is a well known fact that he is terrified of heights.
So up we both went, and part of the reason for my dreading the experience is that these joint working parties with boys usually do not go well. Boys (and men) have a nasty habit of being very critical of one's workmanship and no matter how hard one tries, there usually are tears before bedtime or at least one or two harsh words. Well do I recall the painting efforts when they come along behind you and point out that the paint has been applied too thickly/too thinly, there is a run or you have "missed a bit just there". Also their pursuits always seem to have a rather violent tinge to them. I can still remember having to help my father "bleed" the brakes on his car. (Poor brakes, it sounded just ghastly for them.) Also there was the issue of "choking the hammer" whenever I tried to help with carpentry, another rather violent and unpleasant sounding thing. So early on in the piece I asked Mr Shoestring, "Is this alright? Am I putting it on too thinly or too thickly?" He muttered through clenched teeth, "Just slap it on, if we need to buy more paint we will." After a while though he questioned, "Are you really fine about going over into those corners?" and I could tell he was secretly impressed. So I would scurry crab-like into the far reaches of the roof and paint those parts with the brush, while he used a roller with a long pole on the parts he felt comfortable with. It was a scorching hot day and it became burning hot if one's nether regions should happen to make contact with the roofing iron so extra care was needed. After the second time my sun hat flew away cheerfully into the wild blue yonder I gave up retrieving it; I feared that once I clambered off the roof I may never return. There was one nasty incident when my paint container made a bid for freedom and flung itself off the roof and onto the grass below, but luckily there was not much paint in it and amazingly it did no damage to the lawn or the garden, apart from a splash of paint on one of my treasured lilies. Once I got into my stride I rather enjoyed myself. The dear little nails which hold the roofing iron in place looked to me like top hats, or was it boaters? (I did not share this pleasant thought with Mr Shoestring, not wanting him to suspect I was not taking my task seriously.) A passerby called out cheerfully, "It is so wonderful to see people loving that old villa again and taking care of it" and I have to admit I badly wanted to invite her to come up and share my brush, but bit my tongue.
At the end of the day I gratefully came down the ladder (the most frightening part of all for me) trembling slightly with fatigue or relief, and gladly went inside for a clean up. I have recently decided to let my hair go grey but when I saw the chunks of grey paint all through my hair I knew that was not quite the effect I had in mind. Mr Shoestring told me the best way to get the paint off my skin was to use a scouring pad from the kitchen and it gave a whole new meaning to the concept of exfoliation, I must say.
That night as Mr Shoestring lay on the couch groaning softly from time to time (his bad back had a relapse on account of the roof painting) Sir Lancelot telephoned and announced his intention of paying a call the next day. I was rather surprised (but pleased) to hear Mr Shoestring encourage him in this plan, rather than put him off until another time. So we did not get the second coat put onto the roof after all, which was probably a good thing as it was lovely to catch up with Sir Lancelot and his good maiden. The roof will await our further attentions; I do not hold out much hope that there are any roof fairies who will come in the dead of night and paint it for us.
Luckily before I embarked on the roof painting mission I did have a lovely coffee with Mrs Peaceable at our favourite cafe. We goddesses generally find that coffee appointments (we prefer to think of them as Summit Meetings) will put most wrongs in the world to right - and I am not sure whether I would have had such a resoundingly successful day on the roof if I had not first had my Summit Meeting with Mrs Peaceable.
The lilies are continuing on their wonderful blossomy progress. Here are the new ones for this week:
And this week before clambering up onto the roof I had to call into the local op shop where I could not resist these bargains for a grand total of $8.
And then, seeing the shoe, I remembered another shoe I already possessed. I fear another collection may be in the offing.
I had a similar one which my Nana used for decades, and I think it must what sparked the passion for old pink and green glass. I always remember the smell of my Nana'a powder and the Oil of Ulan she used religiously. Sadly I cannot find my Nana's green powder bowl now; I think it was lost in the big move to our small apartment, but perhaps it will reappear one day.
These two treasures came from a second hand shop. The little cup doyley is similar to another one I have - more collections! The tablecloth was rather marked but the marks have all come out after a good soaking. It is in perfect condition and the paving stones, lupins and hollyhocks are all beautifully worked on linen. The edging is hand crotcheted lace.