Paul (right) and MatthewWE’RE now at the painting and decorating stage and Paul (right) and Matthew are on the job. In a fit of unbridled creativity we decide we want plain white emulsion throughout. At this point we make the mistake of getting a Dulux colour chart – just in case white looks a bit stark. Barley white, bluebell white, blossom white, jasmine, daffodil, apricot, chiffon, sienna, blueberry: the list goes on. Forty-five different whites. We finally decide on barley: it’s warm and understated and will be perfect for our high-ceilinged bedrooms. Until we get it on the wall. “Buttercup yellow” says Ian dismissively.”I knew we should have stuck with plain white.” Eventually we plump for jasmine white. Paul applies the first coat. “It’s lovely isn’t it?” I ask. He keeps painting. “It’s really subtle. Don’t you think?”  He stops and looks. “Yes. Very subtle. It’s what I call a waste of time sort of colour.” Oh well – he is a Yorkshireman. Like Ian.


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