A Prince of Papers

  A Prince of Papers

In what I fervently hope is our last bout of redecorating for some time, and at least this one is voluntary, we are decorating our bedroom.

There are the usual difficulties.     Although John is always surprised how, when he says, perhaps we should redecorate the …    I can draw up a detailed plan in about 5 minutes (whereas women sit in other people’s sitting rooms and think, nice curtains, but I wouldn’t have put them with that sofa…), he tends, once he has accepted the plan, to be a trifle inflexible.     Quite often the initial idea doesn’t work entirely as you anticipated, and you need to adjust your thinking.      I find I sketch my initial ideas out to John – and in fairness to him, I just indicate with a few airy gestures, maybe a very primitive sketch – what I think I want. And he then has to source it / build it / make it happen/ hire the builders / fund it –  so he no doubt could do a humorous sketch about the difficulties of working with me.   Anyway, my rough starting point is then translated by him into tablets of stone, whereas to me it’s just a little stream of ideas beginning to flow through the landscape.

I also find you and your husband set aside a morning to shop for curtains, carpet etc.    You want to look and think – when, eventually the right thing appears, there’s no mistake.   It gets up and bows to you, and says, At last, Madam, you’ve come for me.     If we get to this point, we don’t have difficulty jointly deciding.     I suspect it says to him, You can relax now, Sir.  Madam will be pleased with me.    And don’t worry about the wallet.    I’m definitely worth it, and besides you can go now and do something more to your liking…      But sometimes it’s not there – not in that shop, in that town, on that day.    John, on the other hand, has defined that morning as one he’s going to spend ‘buying curtains’.     You can see his point that there are hundreds to choose from…      So he thinks, if only you look through the hundreds again, and starts saying, What’s wrong with this one, and Won’t this do, and eventually begins muttering about …   complete waste of a morning…    looking for things that aren’t there    … unbelievably picky…    Once it gets to this stage, there’s no recovery – you just have to go home (or maybe to lunch.)

And yet, for curtains or a carpet, you’re spending hundreds of pounds, you’re going to look at it every day for years.   What does it matter if you look for a week?

I have made a few mistakes in the purchases for the redecoration of our bedroom (which is unusual for me though I says it as shouldn’t).   I had planned to make the scheme round the Japanese prints the children gave me for my birthday (Koson Ohara) , but that is so pale it would result in a very light coloured room, with pink as its predominant shade, and that is not really suitable for a room being shared with a man.   I kept feeling dissatisfied that everything we are buying is boring and dull.    So to John Lewis, and out steps a Japanese type paper, taps John on the shoulder.    It’s gold (I know it sounds horrid) with a Japanese blossom on a twig in a deep orange-red (I think it may be quince.)    Velly solly to disturb, Sir, but have you considered me?   John looks at it slightly askance, but the paper nods his head solemnly – petals blow off and land at their feet.    No plobrem with Madam, Sir.   I am what she really really wants but is afraid to say.     John looks at the price of Quinces and winces.    The paper shrugs.     I am not cheap – but you only need one wall of me. 

John  says to me, How about this one, Annie?     I look at it;  rich and dark and opulent and oriental.   I’ll have it, I say.  John looks rather surprised.    The paper smirks at John.    We buy matching paper, a bedcover, 2 pillow covers in short order;  then lining and wadding for Rory and Sarah’s curtains and we’re all done.  Today I cut their curtains, throw and cushions and with judicious piecing it can all be done I think.   Although it requires a first in Mathematics to figure out the piecing, at least it’s not in velvet.   And Alexandra’s dress that I was complaining of last week is nearly done and looks very nice.

I have made a pair of full length curtains for our bedroom today, while John has started papering.   I hope it will be OK – it is quite dark and exotic looking.    Quince assures us whenever we waver that he is a Prince of Papers and it will all be fine.       Will it be velly solly made bad choice, or velly clever Sir?    Watch this space…

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About adhocannie
I am a good natured woman with a long memory and a swift tongue. I like loooking at things and thinking about them. Also food, clothes, travel, reading, sewing. I try to see the ridiculous in things, but sobriety of reflection keeps edgting in. I have husband, children, grandchildren, friends... I feel rich in things that matter. I am a happy exile. I like writing. I do not like talking about me (though I do.). You willl be much more interesting.

4 Responses to A Prince of Papers

  1. Elisabeth says:

    Great blog thanks. Must get some Kosan Ohara prints myself! E xx

  2. Rory Armstrong says:

    Hmm, talking wallpaper, are you sure it’s not an arsnic based design?

    Anyway, you don’t want to end up fighting with your wallpaper, I believe that one of Oscar Wildes last quotes was “my wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.” Since the wallpaper’s still here I guess we know who won!

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