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It was really stupid of me, I know, but I mentioned this to the missus, who decided it would be a good idea for me to repaint our kitchen cupboards and drawers, which were covered in a peeling, unattractive, pseudo-pine laminate.
“Distressed white,” she declared. “That would look really nice.”
“Distressed” white? Growing up, white was white. But a quick search of the internet confirmed that times have, indeed, changed. The first site I clicked on listed more shades of white than I’ve had hot breakfasts.
There was Cloud White, Snow White, Brilliant White, Pure White, Dove White, Chalk White, Simply White, Lace White, Super White, Extra White … the list went on and on and on.
Under the terms of the lockdown, “distressed” white actually made perfect sense to me, as would “distressed” black, coloured or Indian. If we ever come out of this lockdown, I figured, the repainted kitchen would be a poignant reminder of these stressful times.
I removed doors and drawers, used a heat gun to loosen the old laminate before I scraped it off, sanded everything to clean the surfaces and then used a scouring pad to apply a streaky coat of white, allowing for some of the raw wood to show through.
It was back-breaking work and took me the better part of three days, but the missus was delighted with the result.
I am no spring chicken, and I spent the next few days of my enforced leave hobbling around like a 90-year-old with arthritis. Some muscles had gone into spasm, and I was convinced the condition was probably terminal.
Working from home to help bring out this newspaper is taxing. The days are long and there are intermittent system or internet problems. But I would choose a 10-hour day bashing away at a laptop any time ahead of repainting kitchen cabinets.
The fact that technology enables us to still do our job from home, including attending online meetings, is fantastic. I wish we weren’t so spoilt for choice!
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