Yes that’s me. The painting lady, in my ancient jeans and university sweatshirt (how old?) and my gardening trainers. Now, I must make one thing clear – my lovely new parishioners have offered to help, and I have declined, largely because I’m going to be desperate for their help in the garden as soon as the weather calms down, and I really don’t think it’s fair to ask them to paint and garden. So it is that I have spent a fair amount of time wielding a roller.
The bloke from the bike shop, who also drops into the cake shop for coffee, has been measuring my fluency by the fact I have progressed from getting large smears of paint all over me to getting rather a lot of roller splatter. I am getting quicker, more confident, and surer about edging. The end is tantalisingly in sight – one more coat, then one more room, then I’m done….and just need to clean up ready to move in.
But today a different milestone has been achieved. The old dark green carpet has been removed, and the parquet floor revealed in my new study. I couldn’t be more excited about this, and if anyone wants to share tips for cleaning up and caring for parquet, please do!
And why so happy? There’s something about rediscovering the essence that is immensely satisfying. Whether it’s building a relationship to the point of being able to share, or making a room the colour I want it to be, or finding something beautiful that has been hidden. When I moved into the Curate’s House, I didn’t have much chance to make it feel like a family home. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity at the Rectory. And the discovery of the parquet floor, well, that’s my gift to me.