The deadliest, jelliest site ever. Brought to you by Niamh Shaw

Posts tagged ‘painting’

Death by impatience

Saturday afternoon and I’ve just finished cutting into the trim in the lower hallway and kitchen areas. We’ve done no painting for months, mainly because the mere thought of it was enough to induce spontaneous coma in the pair of us. I can just see us finishing the painting a week before we move on.

Cutting in turns me into a person who can spend however long it takes obsessively coaxing three bristles into a 1cm2 corner. I always have to be careful not to get an eyeball stuck to the brush or my tongue stuck to the wall.

There is a shelf that runs the entire length of the stairs hallway, with a 40cm section I can’t reach unless I balance by the toenails on the banister or dangle from a light fitting. Unfortunately, I’m not quite limber enough for either these days. When I asked Husband to do it, he claimed he didn’t have the patience.

“To paint a 40cm strip?” I asked.


“You realize I could fall off the banister and injure myself?”

“Well, I might DIE.”

I’m not sure from what exactly – acute impatience? Then again, this is a man who would spend his time exclusively soldering bits of metal to other bits of metal and soldering the result to more metal, except that he occasionally has to eat and sleep.

While I painted, Husband spent the morning ripping out the interior of the MR2, including door handles and panels, the dashboard and centre console, the seats and floors. I think he’s fixing the car stereo. The reason I’m uncertain is that it always sounded fine to me. However, he flew into a rage yesterday afternoon, because – from what I could make out – the car is too small to fit a sub-woofer.

To inspire him while he tinkered, Husband put on a CD of greatest rock hits ever. At the moment, Jimi Hendrix’ ‘All Along The Watchtower’ is vibrating the living room, while Husband has sufficiently fixed his car stereo to blast Norah Jones at top volume.

Some things never change, but there’s something infinitely comforting about that

Balls the Subway franchise can be proud of

Although we signed the rental papers in early February, until recently we were still living with The Outlaws. The female component of our landlords, Ingrid, was sympathetic to our request to paint the house, so we intended to do so while waiting for our shipment.

At this stage, I was having second thoughts about the whole painting proposal. The yellow and pink had grown on me – admittedly, in similar manner to mould or fungus – but I had adjusted to the colour scheme. However, Husband was adamant.

“I’m not living in a yellow and pink house,” he announced.

“But Husband, we’re only renting; we have no idea how long we’ll live there. And have you any idea what paint costs? Well no, me neither; but we should probably look into it. And it’s a huge job – how long will it take?”

“Eh, few days. Hey! – do you think we should get a spray gun?”

Ingrid donated NZ$ 750 towards paint, which eliminated one argument. The Bro and the dog came to help the first day of painting. Kayla was of limited assistance – in fact, six weeks later we’re still picking dog hair out of the paint. The Bro was impressed with the laundry chute extending from the top of the house to the washing machine in the garage.

“There’s an access door on the floor below as well,” I said.

“Hey – is Husband in the garage?” The Bro stuck his head in the chute opening and breathed: “I’m watching you!”, accompanied by several variations of evil laugh.

It was pretty funny – but not half as much as when his retro Top Gun style limited edition Ray Bans flew off his head and straight down the chute.

For the rest of the day, The Bro rollered the ceilings. When he wasn’t splattering the carpet, he dripped paint in his eyes:

“Ow! Dammit!”

“If you did it properly, there wouldn’t be drips,” I said; then, after a pause: “Did you just roll your eyes at me?”


“Not much wrong with them then, is there? . . . See? Perfect working condition.”

At the time I was on crutches – oh, the crutches? Right, yes. I pulled a calf muscle playing squash with The Bro. My mother had warned me about him:- “Niamh, that boy is too young for you!” and I could hear her mouth pursing down the phone.

“Mum, I’m playing squash with him, not DATING him,” I said. “And by the way, you do know I’m married to his BROTHER?”

“You know what I mean,” she said darkly. “He’s half your age-“

“He’s 26!”

“I thought he was 17?”


“Still. He’ll run the arse off you. It’ll come to no good.”

I think she put a maternal hex on me, because the next time I played The Bro I pulled a muscle one game in. It was severe enough to make me think, “Oh, shite” at full mental volume – when I wasn’t thinking: “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH! OW! OW! OW! DID I SAY OOOOOWWWWW!”

The Bro felt sufficiently guilty to get me an ice pack and compression bandage, and lectured me at length about RICE and how my leg wasn’t above my head in that position and how talking was liable to impair recovery. Unfortunately, he didn’t feel guilty enough to provide on-call margharita.

Three days later I still couldn’t put weight on my left leg, and was getting by with a grunt-powered hop. This was fine for short distances eg from the sofa to the TV or the living room to the fridge. However, it was impossible to perform an effective headless chicken routine on one leg. I leased a pair of crutches for a week since Husband was completely unsupportive.

“Come on – what’s keeping you?” he’d say, five paces ahead.


“Oh, yes. Can’t you go any faster?”

“Why don’t you come over here and I’ll show you another use for a crutch.”

So, that’s how I came to be crippled. As lunchtime approached, I was sent to hunt and gather for The Painting Men. Spotting a Subway outlet halfway to Henderson, I figured that would take care of half the lunch menu. I ordered Husband a 6” Meatball Marinara Sub.

“Excuse me,” I said as the attendant put away his ladle. “Would you mind adding another meatball?”

“That will cost $1.50.”

“You what? For one ball?”

“If you want more meatballs, there’s an additional charge.”

“I see. Let me make sure I understand: the number of meatballs per 6” Meatball Sub is four, is it?”

“Er, I suppose so.”

“Not three meatballs?”

“Um, no.”

“Not five meatballs?”

“No,” he said, more confident now he was on firmer ground. “If you want more meatballs, there is an additional charge-”

“Yes, I got it. Ok, I won’t take the additional meatballs, but can you remove those two half meatballs and replace them with big balls please?”


“Well, if I understand you correctly, a 6” Meatball Sub should feature 4 meatballs. Presently there are two full meatballs and two half balls, which adds up to three meatballs. I want my fourth meatball.”


“Please remove those tragically pathetic excuses for meatballs, and show me balls the Subway franchise can be proud of.”

It’s been a while since I patronised Subway, and I can’t say I was impressed with the service – or the produce.

“You know, I’m not sure those can technically be called ‘meatballs’,” I said, as the attendant slapped another meatball in the sandwich (at least he couldn’t spit in it since I was watching). “Really, they’re better described as large pieces of mince. Does Subway have a complaints procedure?”

Afterwards, I spent three hours driving around Henderson trying to hunt down some booze. When I first arrived, I was under the impression you could buy alcohol everywhere here: grocery shops, doctor’s waiting rooms, school canteens, the local AA centre. Free bottle of wine with every packet of peanuts purchased! Beer vending machines on every street corner!

Apparently, not so much. Eventually, I stumbled across King Dick’s Liquor up a shady alley. After all that effort – and time – The Men were disgusted when I arrived back with a six-pack of Steinlager Light. The Bro threatened to go on strike. It took all my diplomatic skill, three lowfat turkey Subs and half my sushi to persuade him to stay

The bare necessities: kettle and wireless modem

Husband is still putting in a full working day and more for ADT and has only four hours free from 12pm-4pm. It took 40 minutes to drive to Turanga Road from The Outlaws’, which left about two and a half hours for working on the house.

We weren’t getting anywhere so, after accepting delivery of a newly purchased sofa bed, we moved in. Our seats are paint cans, and we have a box as a table. At least we have the bare necessities (these being a kettle and wireless modem, in case you were wondering).

Husband tries to talk up the experience: “Hey Niamhie, isn’t this a bit like camping? Don’t you find it exciting having to improvise? Isn’t it like a big adventure?” And I’m all: “Oh, just fuck off.”

Mind you, there was a sense of achievement when I put together a five course Valentine’s dinner with a saucepan and plastic knife (in this instance, coffee and an After Eight = two separate courses – but hey! Cut me a break)

Tag Cloud