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"She seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if she had surprised a butterfly in the Winter woods"
(edith wharton)


Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Paul and Inglewood ~ a eulogy

Paul was a housepainter... not just an ordinary housepainter.. I looked upon him as a Master housepainter... being of dutch ancestry, he was truly among some of the master painters....
when we moved into Inglewood 9 years ago.. we renovated and knew that we could trust Paul with the painting... you see, he could colour match like no-one else.. and as we uncovered years of vintage paint, we wanted something different for our home.. and so the painting began..

the bathroom was the first room we renovated. I wasn't sure what colour I wanted here so Paul painstakingly mixed up a colour that I thought I would like.. a kind of light cafe au lait.. but to me it was too similar to bare gyprock so I gave up and asked him to paint it cream.. and lived with it for a few years until oneday he was telling me about a new paint called Tuscan affect.. so I chose a colour for the bathroom.. wanting a kind of stone look...it was done within a day and I was hooked... so I scoured the colour charts..

I seriously thought my little sitting room was in need of a revamp.. I had just purchased my snuggly pink chair and some vintage curtains from England and I wanted something really outrageous so I chose 'Raspberry Wine'.. Paul thought I was insane but he painted it anyway.. and he actually liked it when he had finished..hmm what next?

he painted my loungeroom 3 times.. first of all I chose a really dark sea green which he advised me against. of course I didn't listen and he was right.. so we sat and talked it over and decided on a yellow.. tuscan yellow walls with a yellow ceiling rose.. he carefully painted the original 1930's rose with a tiny paintbrush...then we moved onto the bedroom.. which in the beginning was aubergine - way too dark..

I chose a tuscan effect blue this time and decided to stencil a pattern on it myself.. Paul wasn't too keen on this and I don't think he ever did come to like it...

the bedroom ceiling rose was painted a yellow.. this is where his colour mixing knowledge came in.. I knew the exact shade of yellow that I wanted and he would go out to the van, do some tinting, bring it back in, show me.. yes or no? ..back out to the van and so it went on until he got the colour perfect..

during those times that he painted our home, we sat and talked. Paul would arrive around 7am, always dressed in his uniform of white shirt and shorts & paint splattered glasses, he would sit and have a coffee with dutch husband, tell jokes for awhile, then start painting, turning his radio onto talkback and I often heard him commenting out loud to whatever was being discussed by the callers. I didn’t need a clock during the times he was there as he had a routine. 9am and there would be a tap on the window.. time for morning tea.. he would go get his sandwich and come inside for a cup of coffee and a long chat… then painted solidly til lunchtime where we would sit together and have lunch and another chat, sometimes he bought his own lunch, other times I ducked up the shop and bought pies. …. We talked about everything and I dreaded the painting coming to an end because I loved his company… but I needn’t have worried because he called in sometimes for coffee on his way past to a job.

I sure am going to miss him!

the words above are what I am reading at Paul's funeral today... it has been a weird past few months.. going from shock at his first diagnosis, to elation after his operation and then to acceptance of losing him... now we move on..... I have come to a place where acceptance of death is part of my journey.. however hard it is.

and over the past weeks life has been going on as usual at Inglewood... my tamarillos are ripe, the oranges are turning a pale shade from green towards orange, trees have been pruned, garlic planted and turnips are up, my strawbwerry garden is dug, apple trees ordered and I am planning my potato patch ... Fri May 8th was the anniversary of my Dad's death and May 4th the anniversary of my Nans passing...we found out that my next grandchild due in Sept is another little boy.. a brother for Harry and his name is Charlie.... the circle of life......

24 comments:

Kavindra said...

Paul sounds like such a lovely man, and it sounds like you two had a rare and special relationship - how often do people become true friends with an inlaw?

Genie Sea said...

Hugs sweetheart.

Wendy said...

Circle of life indeed. At this time of our lives it does seem that there are deaths and births coexisting.

Nice eulogy for Paul. He sounds like a wonderful spirit.
God bless

Bimbimbie said...

Dear Robyn, you have wonderful tangible memories of Paul throughout your home.

Billie Jane said...

How lucky you have been! It is so hard to choose colours to live with, as anyone who has ever tried decorating knows, that was truly a gift. The ritual is important and I understand that it is crass and insensitive to say 'enjoy' the funeral, but it is something that you need to do really well in order to move on properly. Those are really good words... they say so much more than the simple meaning of the words. Thinking of you.

solsticedreamer~laoi gaul~williams said...

robyn, what a beautiful post and what a lovely way to remember.

the every turning cycle of the wheel we live in...

Kathryn Knoll said...

This is such a sweet post, Dear Robyn. I can see it all in my mind's eye as you describe it and feel it in the heart of my soul. Thank you for sharing such beautiful memories. You'll have his energy all around you as you look at the very walls he painted! Marks of his presence in spirit everywhere. Blessings to you and your dear little Inglewood and all who dwell there in the many dimensions. Sr.K

Annie said...

What a beautiful way to show Paul to us, Robyn. Warm thoughts, Annie

Strawberry Girl said...

I can see how much he's meant to you over the years... thank you for sharing your memories. :0)

Paula - Buenos Aires said...

Sweet loving memories of Paul.
Hugs and caring thoughts for you and your family.

Sheila said...

I'm happy for you to have these fond memories of Paul. Speaking as someone who has a brother in law who is very distant, it is lovely to read what you wrote about him.
Another little boy, and a brother for Harry, congratulations!September will be here before you know it.
Your garden sounds great, and it is so comforting pottering about talking to the plants I find.
The circle of life does indeed continue, life goes on...
hugs
xx

kim said...

That is very beautiful.

Winterwood said...

The circle of life continues, thinking of you all at this sad time robyn, what a fitting eulogy for a dear man.

Pam said...

What a sincere and thoughtful tribute to Paul. He was very much part of your life, and it is so obvious in what you have written that you will miss him very much.The memories you have shared are touching.I am sure Paul would want you to find comfort in each other,and prepare for the wonderful new life coming your way.A big hug for you Robyn, and guidance and blessings on the day.With your individual strengths and tributes I am sure you will do this wonderful man proud.

Janet said...

Paul sounds like he was such a nice man and I'm sure you'll miss him. Finding friendship like that isn't easy.

And how nice that you can look around your home and see touches of Paul everywhere.

Fire Byrd said...

The circle of life.... uumm yes it's sometimes easy to forget that.
Thinking of you lots Robyn.
And sanding big bright coloured hugs to you.
xx

Serena said...

A heartfelt and touching post, Robyn. What a wonderful man Paul was and what a beautiful friendship you had with him. (((Hugs)))

Angela said...

Thoughts and prayers.

gemma said...

Dearest Robyn,
This was a very nice way to honor Paul. I have a BIL who is a carpenter and he has made his mark on our house as well.
xx

Moncha said...

He was a great painter. Such beautiful work !!!
I wish you a lot of strength the coming time !!!!

Tinker said...

This is such a touching tribute to your brother-in-law, Robyn. He sounds like such a sweet, talented and loving soul.
Another grandson - how wonderful, a brother for your sweet Harry - yes, the circle of life -- it does keep on spinning, doesn't it? I hope the circle brings you and your family comfort, healing and love as it spins round again~XOXO

judie said...

Beautiful, wonderful tribute to a man, a friend, a soul you obviously loved. Sending you tight hugs, Robyn. You and Paul were fortunate to have each other as extended family.

Deedee said...

"Al things must pass..." We are all caught up in this circle game. Someday we may come to understand. Condolences, Robyn.

amelia said...

A wonderful tribute to Paul, you won't be able to forget him with his work all around you!

Great news about your new baby in the making!! Technology is so amazing!