[DWJ] Best Books of 2006 (complete with silly categories, and much longer

Minnow minnow at belfry.org.uk
Tue Jan 2 16:49:17 EST 2007

Katta wrote:

>As for painting on
>the walls, I wrote stuff on mine, and the cat clawed on then, and they
>didn't come tumbling down because of it.

When we had been living for some years in a house whose hall and stairwell
were painted hospital green when we moved in and we couldn't afford to
redecorate (it also had fake leather wallpaper in the dining-room, with
fake leather straps with fake brass studs between each strip! and that had
to be a priority because it was intolerable as well as being very dark
brown) my mother handed out chalks to all the children in the house and all
the adult guests too and *encouraged* us to draw silly pictures on the
walls so that they would *have* to be painted some other colour before the
new intake of first-year students came to the house to consult with my
father at the beginning of the new academic year.

She also allowed me to paint a mural on my bedroom wall, with help from all
my friends, of a scene with giraffe and zebra and hunters and a large
waterfall down the side of the firplace and several lizards of improbable
size (relative to the other denizens of the picture) basking on rocks
beside it.

If my lot had shown any signs of wanting to draw on the walls I certainly
wouldn't have stood in their way: it was *fun*.  But it never occurred to

What's more, one of Ma's cousins had an entire wall of her basement kitchen
painted with blackboard paint so that people could draw on it without
feeling guilty.  The room was so dark anyway that having one black wall
didn't make too much difference, and having people drawing in there livened
up the cooking process for her, she said.

Maybe I just see chaos as normal, at least in that respect and in the
inappropriate foodstuffs area.  Ma used to have supper-picnics for us in
summer, so that my father could come on the picnic too after work, and some
of the food we took on those was definitely eccentric.


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