Once upon a time there was a heavily pregnant woman who was left alone in a house with unfinished DIY by her husband who had to go away for a couple of days…
This particular husband had also left explicit instructions to his heavily pregnant wife, not to meddle with the Victorian Fireplace on which she had designs to retile to match the new black and gold Harlequin wallpaper (darling). Of course everyone knows heavily pregnant (hotheaded and defiant) women do not take well to requests for obedience from their husbands, especially when they are off on their jollies.
With some very expensive (so expensive, this tale will not retell as it is too painful to mention) mosaic tiles ordered and picked up from Fire & Earth, the heavily pregnant woman got to work on retiling over the perfectly good Victorian tiles around the fireplace. After several hours preparing a disproportionately small surface area, the woman was getting tired (did I mention she was heavily pregnant?) and so slathered on the tile adhesive and began to fix the mosaic tiles to the surround. Except they slid off. Over and over and over again. Hmm.
A couple of hours later (and a bucket of tears and frustration) the woman managed to get the tiles to stay but had run out of time to grout before the return of the husband the following day. She called it a night but bounced (or rolled) out of bed bright and early the next day, full of anticipation for the beauty of the completed fireplace and how impressed her husband would be with her DIY prowess. But alas disaster had struck! Most of the tiles, except the odd one or two, had completed slidden off leaving a messy lumpy porridge residue that had hardened overnight. The heavily pregnant woman began chipping. And sobbing. But, after a number of hours and with her husband’s return looming, she gave it up as a bad job and jumped in the car to B&Q where she purchased some life saving spray paint. Half an hour later the tiles were completely transformed (truly no word of a lie, but maybe not for the better) and only the odd bit of lumpy grout was detectable. Sort of.
On return home, the husband came upstairs to find his wife proudly standing by the fireplace. Much to her surprise and quite frankly, confusion, the husband seemed pleased with the result, commenting that “the black of the fireplace looks really good after a repaint”. Oh…
The husband seemed to be under the misapprehension that the spray paint was in fact extra thick masking tape left on the fireplace after repainting the mantel. When he discovered the awful truth (and extent of his heavily pregnant wife’s insubordination) he sent his wife to Coventry. Not literally of course but they did not speak for several days, but as a legacy of the event the fireplace remains a lumpy, spray painted centre-piece in the bedroom.
Even now, many years (well 3) later, neither the husband or wife ever dare mention the fireplace to each other for fear of reprise. Or bloodshed.
Submitted by Bryony Olney.