I’ve realised why I can’t find a paint tone to touch up the minor bangs and dinks we’ve made on the walls this past year. The paint already on the walls has been watered down before appliance, and so is no longer a colour you can buy off the shelf. From preliminary experiments (I am an artist, not an artisan, meisseurs) it was probably originally Wickes’ “Simply Cream”. Now it’s simply milky. A mix of magnolia and the Wickes paint is a decent match, though, because magnolia is a bit plaster-coloured, and that’s what you can see through the paint. I thought something was wrong when a damp towel, placed on the radiator, removed the paint from the patches of wall it touched.
Our landlord surely can’t be responsible for such inadvisable economizing. I mean, the fact that he has no emergency insurance and won’t call an emergency plumber, in an emergency, doesn’t necessarily set a precedence for tight-fistedness or laissez-faire on his part. And from his unwillingness to chivvy the grounds management company he pays to act on his behalf, into ceasing to be a freeloading bunch of shite-hawks, we can’t infer that he would be complicit or uninterested in an attempt to cut corners on other work carried out on his behalf. And even though he never answers the phone if we ring him from a number he recognises, and responds to e-mails with a two-line dismissive of bad grammar and non-facts, I’m certain he will immediately take up any future concerns we have with gusto and concern. That’s why we’re not even contemplating moving in three months.
… Needless to say, Wickes didn’t have any “Simply Cream” for me to mix in. “It’s our most popular shade,” the scarecrow on the information encounter told me. Not “we’ve had a rush on ‘Simply Cream’”, which might have at least explained why they’ve clearly not reacted to any increase in popularity by, er, ordering it more often so they don’t run out.