Monday, 18 March 2013

Thing Babies

I very much dislike anything that has a "thing baby". You know those things that aren't stand alone items but require a load of other things to make the set, make the thing work, keep the thing alive etc. 

Gifts and decorating are the worst for this (and live at opposite ends of the enjoyment spectrum). When I buy a gift I try to buy things that don't involve thing babies - nothing with batteries, nothing that needs feeding or watering (unless it's for Father who only likes things like that, I think he'd live under a tarp in the garden if Mother would allow it), nothing that will send begging letters, junk mail, require giving personal details to someone on the end of the phone or anything that will get a renewal notice after 10 months, anything that involves having to rejig the furniture. It's a gift, not a part time job.

No gift vouchers, you see people think that gift vouchers are thing baby free but they're not. They are the holders of the most inconvenient gift in the world crown. Not only can the person not be bothered to buy a proper gift but they're also forcing me to spend money somewhere they find appropriate. So we then have to either sell the voucher to someone else like ungrateful wretches or make an unnecessary journey to a town with high street shops to use the flipping thing which means driving, paying for parking, walking around alien shops, discovering the only thing I like costs more than £15 so I have to then use my own money just to get rid of the voucher for a shop I didn't want to visit in the first place. STOP THE MADNESS.

But this isn't about gift vouchers, I could go on and I do, to anyone who will listen.

Decorating, "oh we decorated the lounge this weekend". Did you. Did you? Really? How did you manage that. It took me all day to do about 25% of the woodwork on the landing in my house, how do people manage a full room? But it starts waaaaaaay before you pick up the tools of the job. At the DIY shop, there's usually at least two trips - one for "ideas" and paint charts, one to buy things and the thing babies and maybe even a third trip to buy the other thing babies that I didn't even know existed until I started the job and thought "how do I..?" On the telly they'd have you believe that it all starts with a man on stilts getting the walls perfectly flat. Am I the only person in the world who can't afford that? Ooooh wait, bloggers have that delightful hand sander that they got as a gift (?!?!?!?!?!?) or picked up at a car boot for a fiver.

Sanding things, that useless kind of spongey block to wrap the sanding stuff around, masking tape, different types of paint, brushes, filler, tiny nails to hold your house together then a little thing to knock the heads of the tiny nails in so you can't see them. Yes, a hammer to go with it, several screwdrivers, something to open the flipping paint tin with, a stick for paint stirring - I used a chopstick, it was all I had. Those really annoying sheets that get tangled up in your feet and the ladders, oh yes, ladders of different sizes. Endless towels and cloths for wiping and cleaning. Sugar soap, which is possibly the only good thing about decorating. So what the magazines would have me believe is a £15 afternoon with a tin of paint is clearly far more than that, liars and cads.

No, I didn't get the painting done and what I have done is acceptable at best but at least it's now white woodwork not magnolia. Woodwork choices other than a. wood or b. white can wait for another day.


  1. Hello. I love this post, it's hilarious! Have just found your blog today and I'm really enjoying reading it. You have really made me laugh! If it helps you I've been painting my living room white for weeks and I've still only managed 2 walls out of the 4! I also use a chopstick for stirring and I never put sheets down - too much fuss. x

  2. Hi Jen, thanks for nipping in. I'm so glad to hear I'm not alone in the decorating stakes. I swear we would never have got the living area painted had the Open golf not been in our town last year - it was so busy we just stayed in all weekend and had no excuse to not get it done!