I’ve been thinking about this and I think I can honestly say that helping my detail-obsessive, immaculate, gay (sort of manager) co-worker to decorate his new apartment is the most nerve-wracking thing I’ve ever done in the name of friendship. And I don’t say this lightly, for want of other things I’ve done in the name of friendship with gay men that might have led to paranoia, since that particular field is somewhat crowded thanks to an ill-advised fling with a friend who was trying to ascertain if he was fully committed to his boyfriend (he wasn’t, he was fully committed to being a pleasure slut).
On Sunday the badger family set off into deepest darkest East London – a journey that required two buses – to help my sort of manager to paint his new apartment. We haven’t finished the latest bout of DIY at the Sett yet so this was even more of a humanitarian aid project than you might otherwise imagine. We arrived at around lunch time and put in a good four hours of painting labour – I even braved gloss and the only strong colour he had selected by painting his bedroom wardrobes white and his kitchen walls yellow. TA painted the hall (pale grey) and the pupster behaved himself admirably.
The new homeowner wafted from room to room, glass of chardonnay in hand, saying: “Do you need a bigger brush? There’s a drip!” and “Can I get you a glass of wine?”
We weren’t the only ones there (he’d accrued quite a team of slaves) and I don’t think my painting was any worse than anybody else’s and – for goodness’ sake – sort of manager is getting his apartment painted for free, but the fear remains. I can see him now pacing the apartment, examining the finish on each surface and sighing in disappointment at my slap-dash execution, even though I think I managed to surpass my previous personal painting best.
On a related note, when we finally got home – a trip that required two buses, TWO! – I smiled at our hall and felt happy to be back in the world of colour. TA and I agreed – taupe and greys and beiges look sophisticated and urban and chic, but we don’t want to live in a Muji show home. This morning I admired the purple in the kitchen – I think it looks great against the white tiles. Sure it’s strong and perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea, but it makes me smile. I love spice and flavor and energy; texture, luxury and depth. Good taste, tasteful taste – my coworkers are amazed and a little horrified when I tell them of our green, yellow, white, red, purple little house – does it have to be bland?
We are a family that loves colour!