The In-Betweeners

It is five o'clock on a November Tuesday evening and I am all alone in the house, savouring the quiet before Richard arrives in his painting overalls, blowing his nose and preparing to get back to work on decorating my once yellow living room. When I was growing up I had a friend whose Mother liked to decorate every eighteen months. Her little husband would start decorating upstairs, then work his way down to the kitchen, by which time MRS. DIY had decided she had had quite enough of   the bedroom wallpaper and would send him back upstairs to start all over again. But coming from a house where the anaglypta was  lucky to see a lick of paint more than once in five years I could barely fathom the relentless urge to decorate... and truth be told I still can't.

Decorating make's me nervous. Once upon a time, my own Mum in a fit of what I can only call madness, decided to shift the armchair I used to spy on the spotty teenage boy across the road, away from the window and I swear I cried for a week: I'm not big on change. I don't like upheaval and mess and the resulting chaos. It takes all the brain I've got to settle on a space I am comfortable with and woe betide those who dare to suggest that chippy wall paint isn't a good look!

And yet here we are. Decorating. Or rather Richard is decorating and I am attempting to supervise and direct and design and pour cups of tea, before he get's sick of my rather pathetic attempts to inform him that he has missed a bit, and sends me packing to Kath's house for the duration because he is a such a perfectionist he will not let me wield a paintbrush, never mind the fact that  I earned a living as an interior decorator for a good ten years in my hey day...

Yes. Here we are. Painting the walls in antique white and papering the alcoves in Cath Kidstons Antique Rose. And here I am having absolute HORRORS. Never let it be said I am not dramatic...

Because this signals change doesn't it? A new start. This means it won't be long before Richard arrives on my doorstep clutching his enormous ugly old hi-fi and fuzzy wuzzy cats and demanding a key, and Readers I am SCARED.

All of a sudden this safe little world I fought hard to create almost five years ago looks to be threatened by LOVE and a man who likes decorating all over again. All of a sudden I am having to make room for someone else, not just in my head and heart, but in the bathroom cabinet, the wardrobe and (oh woe is me) on the bookcase so he can shelve his vintage collection of Sherlock Holmes. And though he won't be actually  moving in until next March, while we get his Dad settled and Rich's house rented, still it means huge changes here as he makes his mark in the nicest possible way, creating a house that is about us, a house that isn't a mausoleum to my former life,  a house we can build a future of our own in...

It's ok to be scared isn't it? To fear the wield of paint on his brush, and his incessant urge to decorate?  Please, please, please, somebody tell me it is normal to feel something I can only describe as the prickles when I stand over him, watching him sandpaper all my yesterdays away...

I couldn't want him here, with us, more.

On My Wishlist...