Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Memories of my mother and Walter Matthau

Today Salty bounded into the house when we got up. He is sporting a red, sore, nose, just at the tip, but does not seem too bothered about it.

Mas had to go off to the bank this morning and do various other chores. I began painting the ceiling and walls in the kitchen; the plan is to start at the top and work down.

While I was painting, I remembered my mother decorating, and me helping her from a very young age. The first step had been to buy some cider to drink while we worked, and the second was to get two glasses! The ceilings in our flat were very high, and we had to work on ladders, or standing on a chair placed on a table; the surprising thing was that neither of us ever fell off! I suppose that these days all this would amount to child abuse, but it was fun at the time! I do not recall that she ever drank cider at any other times.

After the depredations of the war my mother enjoyed decorating, and also liked to change the function of each room frequently, so all the furniture was dragged from room to room, and colour schemes changed. If my mother bought some new paint, and liked the colour, she would use all of the leftover paint on odd things, so door handles and pipes were often highlighted in this way, or door panels; I remember Eau de Nile being a particular favourite.

I finished the walls, which took several coats of paint, and the ceiling, except for one area that Mas is going to re plaster tomorrow. In the evening we had a glass of red wine to celebrate our progress, some pizza, and watched an old favourite film with Walter Matthau called Hopscotch.