I am just about ready to tell you the sorry tale of my garden bench. I dug out a couple of old photos so that you could get an idea of what it looked like Before. The wood was past its best, but the ends were lovely and smooth with a sort of blue-black look to them.
I wanted to repair it, rather than buy a new one, even though a new one would have been cheaper than buying new wood and new fixings. It's a bog standard cheap bench and quite old, but I hate throwing things away so I got the necessary stuff.
I couldn't remove the old bolts, which were rusted, so I asked the local community repair shop to do it. I gave them the bench and the wood and the new bolts and they assured me it would be no trouble at all to fit the new wood.
I bumped into one or two of the chaps out and about and they hinted that a lovely job was being made of it. The wood would be treated! It would all be magnificent.
They were also doing up bikes for Ukrainian refugees because they are all in all good eggs, so I waited patiently for weeks, looking forward to having a functional bench again. It was a bit of a treat to be honest, splashing out on the wood. I could picture how nice it would be.
Then the call came. It was done! I could go and get it!
I rounded up some strong boys and off we went. There was excitement at the shop, they'd gone all out they told me. Not just wood treatment, but they'd given it a coat of paint was well!
Oh, I said, how nice. Inside I was thinking, paint??? I tried to imagine what colour they had gone for. I guessed green. And I was right. It was indeed green. THICK BRIGHT GREEN GLOSS. WITH ORANGE VARNISH. Oh horror of horrors.
I was almost lost for words. The lovely smooth patina-ed ends all choked up with hideous gloss paint. Thick, thick, thick gloss paint. It is never coming off, ever. And it will never fade. It might chip, but not to worry, THERE IS MORE UNDERNEATH.
They all looked pleased as punch to have gone above and beyond and delivered such a thing. It was carried out and placed in isolated splendour for me to appreciate it in all its perfection. The orange wood really stood out against the THICK BRIGHT GREEN. I couldn't imagine a more striking combination.
I paid the money and organised the urchins to carry it off and spent at least two minutes thanking them nicely because I didn't want to hurt the feelings of the person who had had the brilliant idea of green paint and orange varnish and who had made sure I had such a magnificent surprise. But inside, inside I was screaming.
So here it is, back home in the garden, where I can see it all day from where I work. To be fair, the wood has changed colour slightly, possibly even for the better. But the green paint, no siree, that is as fresh as the day it was painted back in the summer. It has taken me this long to speak about it.
I suppose you want to see it. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Contrast it, if you will, with the other bench, which is blending in nicely and not shouting at all.
I suppose the trick will be to sit on the ghastly orange and green bench and look at the other bench. Although this doesn't solve the problem of me staring out of the window at it all the livelong day. Sigh. I know I am being overly dramatic, but what was supposed to be more of an eco-friendly solution has turned into a gloss paint nightmare. But it's fine. I am almost over it and I am certain that you will come up with a tasteful solution for me, such as covering it with a nice soft padded patchwork throw or rubbing yoghurt into it so that it ages back into beauty. You will come up with a tasteful solution, won't you?