Friday, 13 April 2012

Painters from the past..

So that's where I've been the past four months, not blogging. In the end I asked the builders to get to a certain point in the renovation and then stop, because I was spending shedloads of money without really considering what I was doing.

I like to know the corners of my house and what's around me. I'm planning on spending a large part of my life living here and while I'd love it to be clean and comfortable, part of the journey is in making it yours.

When I began stripping the old paper off the walls I came across a strange, almost ghostly experience. There were messages written on the walls underneath the paper that hadn't been seen by anyone for seventy years. Spooky.

Here's the painter, Albert Taylor, signing the bedroom wall.
Then underneath either he or one of his mates has dated the message
3rd June 1938 and added: 'NICE DAY' and then to the left, perhaps as
an after thought .. 'GORTON'.. maybe he lived there.
Painting the bedroom must have taken a couple of days - it certainly took ME a couple of days - because close by on the wall there's another message.
'June 6 1938: Foggy all day'
Then - and this is what made me laugh so much - there's a response
separated by 20 years. Another decorator has left his own message on the wall, again in pencil, almost as if to stay in keeping with Albert Taylor's message: 'Jan 1958 - still foggy'

It was almost a shame to interrupt these messages from the past by painting over them. I guess in the days when these guys were decorators you papered the bedroom to keep it a bit warmer, and so the messages stayed on the walls. But considering that we're only the third people in this house in the 90 years since it was built, we're not far from the original stuff considering that the last guy lived here for fifty years.

Albert certainly left his mark on the house. On the wall in the front room downstairs I found instructions in thick pencil: 'ALL WOODWORK DEEP CREAM.'
And so it was. The last guy just slapped more on top of that. I've spent the past four months burning it back to the wood.

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