People have been asking where I’ve gone.
Nowhere! I’m right here. In Ballymena, in the house where I grew up. So technically, I suppose I’ve gone backwards.
I will also have great difficulty in going anywhere for a while, since I can barely walk. This is due to the fact that I decided to put my copious free time to good use yesterday, and went to paint my grandparents’ garden fence for them. It turns out that I am not at all suited to physical labour of any kind, because this morning I woke up to find that all my limbs ache as they would if I’d suddenly launched into a full-on intensive exercise regime.
As I neared the end of the first half of the front of said fence, I realised to my dismay that it was going to take three coats before it became the nice shade of Rustic Green shown on the tin. Still, what else did I have to do?! So back I went and put on a second coat, and a third, and then went round and did the other side.
Five hours, and I had managed to paint two thirds of the total fence surface that would have been required for me to claim that I had painted half the fence.
On the plus side, when I stood back for a moment of contemplation, I discovered that I had also painted some nasturtiums, a bit of the path, the non-shoe-covered portion of my feet (in a charming stencil effect), my arms, my fingernails, my hair, my nose, and an impressive percentage of the lawn. Not bad for a day’s work! I match my grandparents’ garden so perfectly that they could hire me to be a Rustic Green garden ornament.
I collapsed into bed and fell into an exhausted sleep, from which I emerged this morning feeling rested and ready to paint. I leapt energetically out of bed, and promptly howled in agony as I discovered the hard way that painting, and crawling around to get the tricky bits, and stooping, and bending, and stretching, and reaching, and repeatedly moving your arm up and down for several hours in a row is not without its consequences for the chronically unfit. I have aching muscles in places where I did not know that I had muscles. I can’t move without making the sort of noise that old men make when they spend five minutes trying to get out of a chair.
On reflection, I don’t think I’d cope all that well with working for food and accommodation on a farm in Bulgaria, or picking grapes 8 hours a day, 7 days a week in the South of France. There goes that idea…