Thursday, September 20, 2018

Canaries Pawprints & Paint

Mrs Hudson here, and I am joining Brian's Thankful Thursday Hop. This week I am most thankful that Erin and I are safe, and I got the washing done when I did, as high winds and rain have been plaguing not only us here at Upper Much-Mousing, but also many of our blogging pals in America. 

We are grateful, very grateful, that it has not been any worse than it is, and so many folks are doing so much good for those in need, human and companion alike! Our prayers are with you all...

This week we delve into Erin's archives.  Or as I like to to call them, the filing cabinet in the drawing room that seems to house no end of bits and pieces that Erin doesn't know what to do with, that is if she even knows they're there!

 It also houses a family of mice, as well as numerous spiders that have been trying to get space at the church since last year. Alas since the church warden retired they are a bit behind on their cleaning.  

Anyway, enough of spiders and mice, and on to nicer things such as paint and canaries. This weeks post was from 25th February 2015, and not long after Erin moved in. With an eye for decorating, as well as getting her own way, Erin managed to start the long slow process of revitalising the palace colour scheme. She applied so much vigour to the staff at that point, that we even have colour co-ordinated spiders and mice to this day!

Please now join me as we uncover some more of the secrets of decorating, palace style, in this week's story:

Canaries Pawprints & Paint

   After my cheese & cream fueled nightmare last week, of a-smokin' and a flamin' peep, I decided being under a dark bed probably wasn't the best of places to spend a pleasant and peaceful nights nap! Nothing else for it but to move on up and stake a claim for some of the bed!

   As they say, possession is eight-ninths (and the front end of a mouse) of the law, so I did what any self-respecting princess would do, I slept on it! Well, to be more accurate I slept on everything that didn't move, and some things that did like the peep's tummy, and toes! It didn't take long before I'd got peep sorted out with an appropriate sleeping position so that I didn't get squashed or awoken me when the time came to make my breakfast. At the end of the week, I had ended up owning the space under the bed (for mouse practice) the surface of the wool duvet for napping and the airspace above for the jumping onto and off. Peep said that's called a flying freehold, which is just as well as I can't afford to pay for it! Oh, I also retained an option for under the duvet visits in case of localised global warming, or is it global cooling? I must make a note for Miss Description to check on that! Anyways peep gets the space between the duvet and mattress, a reasonable concession I thought, though the peep did rather seem to assume that this was a rite rather than a privilege.

   Moving on up made me realise just how bad the decorating was above floor level. I've slept on enough home style & country living glossy magazines (two or three thick ones are particularly comfy on a cold winters night) to say that interior design and decorating is an art best left to those that have an eye for, erm, interiors design & decorating! Judging by the current scheme, the incumbent was possibly colour blind and also entered some as yet undiscovered expressionist period. And believe me undiscovered is where it should stay!

   Being a princess with more than a degree of taste, admittedly for cream, salmon, and cheese, I resolved to get some class into my bedroom. On further consideration an interior designer was probably better, I've seen what kids turn out at school, and it's not pretty I can tell you!

  Scratching around the bedroom, which plays havoc on the claws, I discovered there were more colours on them there walls than you could wave a swatch at. I found canary yellow (tricky colour to get a hold of on account of it flying about), pale yellow, bright blue, light blue, three shades of green, beige, magnolia and white, though none of the 50 shades of grey that many folks keep talking about. Then there were the layers of wallpaper, but let's not mention that! OK so I've mentioned it but let's not go there, suffice to say it needed to be stuck back down!

   Taking stock, which some also call "rustling", I concluded that this redecoration wasn't going to be easy.

   First I had to pick a colour, something feminine, something Princess-like. I had it in my mind, picture it if you will, black walls with a fetching white motif and whiskers to add that certain you–know–what, a bit like me really. But then maybe not, you can have too much of a good thing, and it would hardly be the uplifting effect I want, no matter how majestic. No, it had to be feminine & subtle and keep the peep happy too. Yup, it had to be PINK!

   Getting your peep to do anything is a bit of a chore. But getting them to think of painting let alone pick pink paint wasn't going to be easy. The best plan, so far as I could see, was to get the old paint looking really tired and distressed and thus ripe for a tidy up. Then and only then I could present the peep with the swatch card and my choice. And of course whilst sorting the paint, I could get the drapes and rugs, and other knickknacks sorted too.

   I had seen some colour swatch cards in with the Power Nap device in the wardrobe, so it didn't take much effort to get the ball rolling, though in my experience sometimes them balls, much like mice, don't want to stop once they've started!

   Now the following day was rainy, so I headed on over to my fave spot under the hedge and settled down on the damp, smelly and muddy undergrowth. On returning home, I didn't stop to wipe my paws, as one should, but headed on up to the bedroom window ledges to begin phase one of the operation. Jumping off a window ledge, textbook fashion, means putting one's paws on the wall under the ledge and pushing off, which I find gives me enough boost to miss peep's tummy and land somewhere safe and frankly less wobbly! After a few minutes of leaping, the walls had taken on a mottled pattern, and certainly one that after drying would be hard to ignore.

    So to phase two, the piece de resistance! It came late that evening when I trotted in with one of my sparrow friends and happily dropped it at peeps feet. Now by prior arrangement with the sparrow, just as peep went to pick it up, it flew off with yours truly in hot pursuit, muddy paws 'n' all, heading for the bedroom!

   Well, I chased that sparrow up, down, and around the bedroom. I even went back downstairs, across the sofa (and peep) and back up and around the bedroom for good measure. The net result, well I'll leave that to your imagination, but I can honestly say that by the time peep caught up with us I thought the makeover was in the bag.

   Now peeps ability not to see things truly amazes me. Whether it was because it was so late at night, I can not say, but the peep really didn't seem to notice! The sparrow was caught and just released from the bathroom. I just got a stern glance and a rebuke for disturbing the neighbours at such a late hour and had my cream privileges withdrawn for a week. With not a mention of the décor disaster, peep went to bed and left me to contemplate my plan's apparent failure.

   The following morning came, as mornings do, and I woke just early enough to make sure I could wake peep to feed me. Alas, as it was Saturday, all my enticements to get up at the usual time of 4.30AM failed, so I tottered on to my reserve bowl of crunchy biscuits and did a little bit of stage setting.

   When peep surfaced, there was sufficient light to see the full extent of the damage from the previous night's romp. I could see the little cogs whirring (though clunking may be a better choice of word for that time of day) in the realisation of the state of things. It was then that I hit the peep. Well, more accurately I let the colour swatch card thingy (with a gentle nudge from me) fall from the dressing table where I sat, onto the peep's foot. Picking it up the peep was immediately drawn to the only colours that didn't have (fresh) paw prints on, namely the pinks and some sickly mustard yellows, by way of contrast you understand.

   Now apparently this struck (no pun intended) a chord, for the peep headed back to bed with the swatch, and a cup of full strength de-caf, to consider options. This action was all very positive, for sure, bar for the fact the peep forgot to feed me! The things you have to suffer for your art, and decorating huh!

   Things progressed, and peep soon got the wallpaper doing what wallpaper should do, namely staying stuck in place. Now I'd like to say at this point that things went well from thereon in. Yes, I'd like to say that, honestly, but in true human fashion, things went awry when the peep went out and bought, yes bought without my approval, some pots of paint.

Now I did offer to go and help. In fact, I jumped in the car, but peep was adamant I needn't worry, and it wasn't going to take long and duly ejected me from the car and headed off.  What the peep came back with later that day, when I wasn't there, was a selection of those small test pots that allow you to try, and I stress "in a discreet/generally unseen area", the colour of your choice. Now, what you're not meant to do is cover the wall as far as possible with every last drop of the pot and then repeat the exercise around the room with every other pot.

   Anyway, when I got home later that afternoon from a mousing outing, I was confronted with a bedroom in various shades of PURPLE! Not subtle pink or even medium pink but bright purple! What was worse, if you can imagine such, was that it wasn't just one shade of purple, no ma'am, it was five shades all in various stages of drying, and each getting darker as I watched!

   Now somewhat surprisingly given the peep had picked the colours, was sat at the end of the bed transfixed by the unfolding scene, and I distinctly heard the words "....that's not what it looks like on the pot!"  I must confess that I was less restrained, and I yowled, and I don't often yowl as it's not princess-like, but with a paw over my eyes, I yowled. I yowled so much in fact that peep, thinking I was sick (and that wasn't far from the truth), dropped the last pot of paint and took me downstairs for some cuddles and cream.

   Well the next day, after a long sleepless and noisy night, and with lesson duly learned, peep headed off once more to the paint shop. Armed this time WITH the colour swatch card thingy, the peep picked up one huge pot of subtle pink paint, or as peep said: "It's not pink, it's a white with a hint of strawberry!"  The peep also got a lovely subtle "strawberry" linen–style blind. Alas, as we have two windows, the less than subtle bright green roller blind that had also been bought was duly banished to the wardrobe with the Power Nap device.

    Now it took three coats of paint over the next three days to cover the various shades of purple. To peep's credit, every last blackcurranty bit of it got covered. Well every last bit, bar an area behind the bedside table which got painted around. Clearly, the old habits die hard, but all in all, I think I was lucky to get the peep to paint that far, and we do now have matching walls (almost) and a singularly single strawberry blind, with a promise of one more to come, in PINK!

   Now the irony is, and despite all my best efforts, with the pictures rehung in the room, in most lights you don't see the pink at all!

   Hmm....maybe purple would've been better after all?

Well, that was all very fun, and very informative too. I am only glad that Erin didn't suggest real strawberries be used!

Till next week, when we will be looking into high tech appliances at the palace, I bid you fare well, and keep on dusting!

Mrs H.