21 March 2009


"Rendering" by Jackson Pollock
What did I do wrong? This is the second Saturday I have been up a ladder painting the rendering on the side of our house. Painting rendering should be made a punishment for petty criminals. Several hours of this activity would convince them never to break the law again. "No - not painting of rendering! Fine me, give me community service, lock me up in the cells but please - I beg of you - don't make me paint that rendering!"

For the benefit of overseas bloggers and ignoramuses, what exactly is this "rendering" to which I keep referring? Well, back in the 1920's when our house was built, it was considered fashionable to cover first floor brickwork with a mix of mortar and stones. This is what we call "rendering". The stones are knuckle sized and the resulting surface is coarse and uneven - making painting an absolute nightmare. You have to dab and swirl, swish and prod - and you often find yourself going back over what you have already painted.

My right hand feels as sore as hell through five hours of wife-inspired punishment. This is certainly not the kind of painting that Katherine at "The Last Visible Dog" is so good at. I bet her wrists don't ache like this after a session at her easel. No! What I was doing was real painting. Painting that hurts.

Painting interior walls, doors and windows can actually be quite relaxing - almost therapeutic -as one's brush or roller glides over the surface while a pleasant radio show plays in the background. But painting rendering is definitely not like that.

Today was the first official day of Spring but as I stood on the flat roof of our house extension, a chilly wind was funnelled through the gap between the houses all day. My face is red and chapped like an Arctic explorer's. And though I tried, I did not quite finish the painting today. There's a couple more hours left to do in the morning. Oh woe is me!


  1. I'm glad your wife did her kind of painting and you did yours :)

  2. I think that is what we call "stucco" over here on this side of the pond. "Rendering" is a verb and it's what you (well, maybe not you) do to make lard out of pig's fat and entrails and whatever else lard is made out of.

    Two-way education is such fun, isn't it?

  3. No, it's called pebbledash. But either way, it must be hell to paint. :(

  4. The house of my childhood was stucco - I vaguely (rhymes with plaguely) remember my father gnashing and wailing too.
    Oh woe to you.

    PS Thank you for the reference. And I take my hat off to you, oh Real Painter. Well, I would if I had one.

    When you've recovered, I'd appreciate you nipping over to my blog and having a squiz at a bit of writing.

  5. It sounds like your wish came true. Petty criminals like you getting their comeuppance!

    Your petty crime:

    Supporting a football team with an orange car salesman as manager.

    Punishment: Watching a proper football team like the Mighty Owls of Owlerton and rendering of every 1920s semi in Sheff!

    BTW, my old house in Wadsley has just been done very poorly, were you hired to do that as well?!

  6. Um...have you considered spraying the paint on?

  7. BRAD Her kind of painting involves nail varnish.
    RHYMES Yes we have that meaning of "rendering" over here too. "Stucco" always seems to me a much smoother affair - a sort of beach-like texture. We may have given you Yanks our language and Ringo Starr but you should thank your lucky stars we didn't give you our rendering!
    JENNYTA Pebbledash is something different altogether - involving small pebbles in very close proximity to each other.
    KATHERINE Gnashing and wailing? Poor fellow! What was mama doing at the time? A crossword? On the phone? BTW I did leave a comment about that obtuse piece of writing. I'm surprised you didn't, apparently, receive it.
    BANGKOK BETTY BOOTHROYD I thought you were my friend! The sooner they ship you to Thailand the better!
    SAM Spraying would not work as the excess spray would get everywhere - including the ground floor brickwork. Believe me, it has been tried. If the whole house was rendered then yes - with some masking - spraying would have been ideal.

  8. That's why spray guns were invented... oops, just read your final comments. OK, that's why boy scouts were invented.

  9. Where did you go, Yorkshire Pudding? Did the vernal equinox do you in?

  10. Erm...if no-one can see that giant dick on the roof then why on earth are the parents making such pricks of themselves by kicking up such a fuss?


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