I’m on the last lap of the bathroom job. There’s just the top coat to put on the door frame and a shelf unit, and then there’s only the exciting bit left. The exciting bit is the airing cupboard and the panelled door. For seven years they’ve been two-tone yellow, but they’re shortly to be elevated to crimson and pale green.
The thing is, you see, my bathroom has an oriental ambience provided by three small Japanese prints, a medium-sized Chinese oil painting painted by a real Chinese woman (though what size she was I don’t know,) two large Chinese banners featuring plump birds, spiky butterflies and sundry flowers, and a wooden statue of the goddess Kuan Yin. Well, two-tone yellow isn’t very Chinese, is it? Two-tone yellow is more Kansas, really (corn and egg yolks.) Crimson and pale green, on the other hand, takes you straight in among the fisher boats of Quangdong Province where the guzheng and the erhu play plaintive duets as the sun rises over the South China Sea and those dark, mysterious cormorants eye you suspiciously. Much more fitting, and much more exciting.
Except it isn’t, really. Hearing people talk about paint is marginally more boring than watching it dry.
But there’s one more thing I might mention. Ms Wong sent me an e-mail tonight which said ‘I don’t want to talk to you tonight.
I want to be alone.’ I find it quite flattering when people are honest with me.