It’s still all-white

PUBLISHED: 13:28 30 August 2007 | UPDATED: 15:14 12 May 2010

The great decorating adventure has continued. Inevitably, it has meant a return to the do-it-yourself emporium for more essential materials. I ve overcome the challenge of the choice of paint, but now there was the important question of getting the right

The great decorating adventure has continued.

Inevitably, it has meant a return to the do-it-yourself emporium for more essential materials.

I've overcome the challenge of the choice of paint, but now there was the important question of getting the right sandpaper.

A straightforward exercise. You may think so.

But there's dry sandpaper and wet sandpaper: sandpaper the colour of a Caribbean beach, and dark, black sandpaper resembling the aftermath of a beach which has been the victim of an oil slick from the Torrey Canon.

I'm sure it wasn't this difficult when Barry Bucknell gave us hints on his do-it-yourself programmes in the 1950s.

Then everything came in black and white.

Still we went around in circles searching for a particular size and texture of sandpaper.

Now size, I'm told, is important, because buying the wrong one means it cannot be used in the sander.

The things you learn - and I didn't know we actually owned a sander.

Now I know we have a sander I can see, too, the reason for having an industrial mask as part of the decorating equipment.

It means we are health and safety conscious.

Still, as I have said, the decorating continues, and we now have a bathroom with white walls rather than dirty white walls.

Mind you, we didn't know they were dirty white walls until the mirror and the bathroom cabinet and the clock were removed.

And talking about removing the mirror. Now that caused a problem.

Try shaving without the use of a mirror. It's virtually impossible and it's amazing the amount of cigarette papers that are needed to staunch the bleeding once the razor has gone to work.

Still, once overcoming the shock of seeing so much blood and realising that a transfusion wasn't needed, I went to work on the problem.

Just place the mirror at a slight angle against the wall and it would be a return to usual shaving routine. The problem was that to undertake such an exercise, the height of the mirror was not at the right level.

I don't believe until now that I have spent time on my knees shaving.

It's quite an experience.

And it's quite dangerous, too, when reaching out for one of those shaving cream containers and realising that you have picked up a tube of grouting paste.

But I did meet a do-it-yourself expert this week. He tells me part of the secret of do-it-yourself is having your own roller - and knee-pads.

This is either compulsory for decorating, or, perhaps, he is hoping for a part in Starlight Express.


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