Louloulapomme: Fifty Shades of being busy – part 2

Fifty Shades of being busy - part twoThere has been much discussion on CountryWives’ about the abilities and charms of the more mature woman. Good Housekeeping arrived in the post today with Dame Judi Dench on the front cover – wow! now there’s my idea of an iconic woman, no cosmetic surgery, just a shining personality that makes her 80 years seem extremely youthful. So I shall tell you about my new found interests (apart from sex).

Fifty Shades of being busy - part twoI have started teaching classes for paint techniques using chalk paint. No, not Annie Sloan but Autentico, a fairly new company who have launched a huge range of paints and all the techniques that you might want to try. Shabby chic has its place and I am well aware that if you go too far it can end up looking like shabby shite! I had used Annie Sloan and wanted to paint a cupboard in dark red but, as the sales agent based here was so useless in posting the paint to me, I searched on the good old internet and found Autentico, based in a shop only half an hour away. I popped over and I was rather like a child in a sweetie shop with the range of colours and techniques. The owner, a delightful Irishman, seeing my enthusiasm and knowledge of colour (many years ago I was a colour analyst) asked if I was interested in taking the classes for English speaking customers every fortnight? After a couple of days of deliberation I agreed to give it a try and I love it. It’s great fun, light hearted and everybody goes away with a transformed small piece of furniture. 70’s yellow pine furniture is turned into up to date items which, depending on the required finish, can be used with pride again. I laugh that “updating” has now become “upcycling”, “renovation” is “shabby chic and “awful” is “retro”. When I have worked hard on “relooking” a piece of furniture J says, “That could do with a good coat of paint.”

Fifty Shades of being busy - part twoMy next stage of learning in later life is upholstery. I have always wanted to learn and have a lovely sofa that the cats prefer to use rather than their scratch post! However, despite buying books on the subject and YouTubing, I searched locally and the only courses I could find involved a 2.5 hour drive (big country France!). I needed to take a small piece of furniture to learn on. but wanted something with upholstered arms so I knew what I was doing when it came to tackling the sofa. We searched the local pages of Le Bon Coin (The Good Corner, a French equivalent of Ebay) and found a pretty, dralon covered bedroom chair. Suitable fabric was also organised. So fully prepared, we were up at the crack of dawn on the appointed day and I had high hopes of coming home with a recovered chair. Ha! Little did I realise that lurking under the yucky dralon, the ancient stuffing (old sex) had rotted and there were signs that a mouse had been living there. Some of the springs were broken too (too much sex). It was also riddled with woodworm, so my bargain chair turned out to be a bit of a white elephant. I was ready to upcycle it to the tip but Debbie, the instructor, said she thought it was actually quite old due to the metal frame support around the edge and she advised me to finish stripping it back and spray it with chemicals. I did that and the structure of the wood is quite strong. I couldn’t believe it took all day to strip it back, but I learnt an amazing amount. I go back again in March for two days to hopefully finish off and may need to apply gimp, railroading, warp, weft and welting techniques to the chair, formerly known as plinth.

Fifty Shades of being busy - part twoAll these upholstery expressions sound like some sort of perverted sex which brings me on to say that have been interested in the fuss (or not so much) about Fifty Shades of Grey. J bought me the books several years ago and frankly, I couldn’t be bothered to read them after the first two pages, which were extremely badly written. We were given the boxed DVD set of Game of Thrones for Christmas and I have to admit I don’t usually like fantasy fiction, but I have become totally hooked. There is probably more sex in it than Fifty Shades, a lot of gory violence which is almost jokey, and different story lines to keep your brain alert. We try to ration ourselves to two episodes a night but sometimes the climax (sex again) is too much and we have to watch the next. I shall leave you now – I’m off to make a cup of tea with an added teaspoon of bromide – too tiring this retirement business.

Love Louloulapomme x