Really keen readers will recall how, some time ago, Mammy purchased some rather minty wallpaper because it was hugely (and unaccountably) marked down in price. I had no intention of applying this stuff to the walls because it would not only blind me in the process but also blind anyone who stepped into the room thereafter.
As it is, I am unable to refuse Mammy anything so the last couple of weeks have been spent buying large amounts of paint from the shop, applying a small amount to the wall and deciding it isn’t what she wants after all. Sure, tester pots would make more sense but how am I supposed to make a decent dent in the ozone layer unless I’ve an excuse to drive to Waterford 8 times a week?

After much deliberation the choice was narrowed down to Putty or Contemporary. Putty was felt to be a little to dark. Contemporary was felt to be a little to yellow. In the end I made an executive decision and pumped for Contemporary as it would be easier to paint over when Mammy decided she didn’t like it.
Surprisingly, she has decided that she does like it. She has also, even more surprisingly, decided against the minty wallpaper and has gone for some rather elegant Laura Ashley beige stuff with flowers on. It all looks rather lovely.
Inspired by decorating success, Mammy has decided I’m painting and wallpapering the hall, stairs and landing as well as repainting all the woodwork in the entire house. Before Christmas.

Mammy thinks painting woodwork is the worst job in the entire building pantheon. This is because she has never been required to do any of the truly terrible jobs which are available. Plaster boarding ceilings is one which springs instantly to my mind. In an effort to spare me, she got a man in.

Putting home decorating in the hands of any Irishman is a dicey business. They are straightforward chaps who, if they know their job, will eventually get around to starting it. If they see a problem, they will ignore it and carry on. This is the Irish way.
As a foreigner, I appear to have different ideas as to how things should go. I would never regard knots as a feature of wood to be proudly displayed beneath thick orange varnish. I would never fit architrave before I tiled the floor and if I had made such a rudimentary mistake, I would not then slice all my tiles at angles and add extra grout to the gaps (as was done in a show-house up the road from me).

Still. There can be no doubt that the woodwork is painted. Everybody who looks at it will be very clear that it is indeed now covered in paint. Just the way the Irish like it.