Seeing Stripes

Today I ran down to the allotment early. The sun was out and it was dry! A magic, and often elusive, combination! I stopped to say hello to Michael and Phil before heading off to the shed. Out came everything once more – it’s amazing how much stuff can be fitted into a shed! The air had a touch of frost about it but I knew it would warm up. Grabbing my paint brush, a new 2.5 litre can of Cuprinol and putting on my headphones, I made a start on the interior. The colour was a light blue which I had chosen to go with the new exterior colour. By the time I had done the first coat, Sarah appeared to say hello. I stopped and we had a quick chat before she mentioned that Cliff was back. Dropping the paint brush, we walked around to find Cliff on his bench with Koko by his side. For the last month, Cliff hasn’t been able to make it down and we have all missed him. It was great to see him back, holding court outside his shed.

Back in the shed, I quickly finished off the second coat. Weirdly, the Cuprinol seems to need at least two coats to get the colour to come through fully. Twitching over to the next enormous paint can, I made a start on the ceiling. This was to remain white so that the shed would still be bright. I had only painted a couple of panels when my phone went off – it was my husband calling me home for lunch. Stopping only to seal the paint can and wash the brush, I left everything and ran home.

After lunch, I finished off the ceiling. It was interesting trying to dodge the odd paint drip whilst trying to ensure a thick even layer. How my head wasn’t covered in paint I have absolutely no idea! Bored of contorting myself to paint the ceiling, I decided to start on the exterior. Although I love the seagrass colour the shed has been, I am still not sold on the sage colour for the door and top panel by the roof. Having spent hours trying to find a complimentary wood preserving paint colour and failing, I had made the decision to completely change the outside of the shed to fit in with my new theme for the plot (watch this space!).

Alternating between panels, I quickly put on two coats of pale jasmine paint. I could still see a green tint to some areas and knew it would require at least a third coat. Pondering what to do next, I heard a voice shout my name and I found my husband had come down. Setting him to feed the chickens, gave me a little extra time to try and get a third coat of paint onto the panels. He chose to start with the greenhouse, and I heard Leia shouting at him as he entered. That bird is so loud when she is cross! A couple of minutes later, I heard a shout, remembering he last shout heralded an injury, I dropped the paintbrush and ran to the patio. There was my husband in the greenhouse, who told me sheepishly, he had moved the shelves to see if there were any mice below. In moving the shelves, he had accidentally squashed one. It’s tiny body lay on the floor. Although the mice have been a bit of a menace the last two years, we don’t like to kill them, preferring to scare them away. As we looked at each other, trying to work out what was best to do, Leia swooped at it and ran off with it. What followed can only be described as a frenzy with Leia and Lilja going to war over the dead mouse. Sadie barely got a look in as possession of the mouse repeatedly changed much to the chagrin of the loser. At several points Leia and Lilja came to blows over it. There was no way to get the mouse away from them whilst they fought over it. Eventually, they slowed down and my husband shooed them away and removed the now mangled body. He took it off and buried it, all the while a torrent of abuse was shouted at him by a very irate Leia who had been deprived of her prize.

The Great Mouse Frenzy over, I remembered that my husband had come armed with a cool bag, saucepan and cooking stuff to make us a hot snack. Multi-tasking between teaching him how to operate the stove and trying to complete the third coat of paint was interesting. But soon enough, sausages were sizzling in the pan as I put the finishing touches to the outside of the shed. The white will need some touching up tomorrow before I start on stage two of painting.

Scoffing the delicious hot sausages, we looked at the shed. First impressions were good and I didn’t immediately hate the colour which I did last year. As the light was going, we packed everything carefully back into the shed. We waited until the stove was out, grabbed the cooking stuff and headed home, ready to do more painting tomorrow!


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