Magnolia Paint


I bought a small tin of ‘Salsa Red’ paint and a huge tin of Magnolia paint yesterday.

I’m titivating the boys’ rooms whilst it’s the hols: painting feature walls, buying more storage and getting Superhero stickers and canvases for the walls.

The red paint is for them.  But the Magnolia paint is for me.

I’m using it to cover up the imperfections in the house.

Yesterday morning, there were dirty handprints on the stair wall…but not any more.  A few swipes of the brush and miraculously, all traces of them disappeared.

Encouraged, I proceeded to work my way through each room, obliterating scuffs and scrapes and covering over any sections where the old paint was showing through.  It was cathartic.

If only life were so simple.

If only I had the equivalent of a big tin of Magnolia paint to cover over the scuffs, scrapes and old paint of the past few months.

Unfortunately, some of the events that have taken place are going to take a bit more than a touch up.  There are some gouges in the paintwork that not even a full box of Poly Filler could smooth over.

Some of the old paint is too dark, and shows through no matter how many coats of paint are laboriously applied.

For example, we were in such dire financial difficulty late last year that at one point we thought we might lose the house.  It got to the point where I couldn’t afford a full grocery shop.

Sometimes I realised early enough and would stand in the aisle, embarrassed, hiding things on the wrong shelves, after working out what we could manage without.

Sometimes, however, I’d miscalculate.  On those occasions I had to make excuses to the person on the checkout about why I had to put stuff back: ‘I’ve left my card at home’/’There must be some problem at the bank’/’I forgot to transfer some money between accounts.’

I lost night after night of sleep, worrying that we wouldn’t be able to buy Christmas presents for the kids.

Then my beloved Gran died in November.  She had a stroke that left her without a swallow reflex, so we had to wait for her to slowly starve to death.  Subsequently, she got pneumonia but she fought that, too.  It took two long weeks.

My dad became ill as a consequence of the stress of my Gran dying and the cold, damp weather unfamiliar to him now because he lives in Spain.

At the beginning of February, no doubt as a result of his illness and grief, my dad suffered a serious stroke.  My brother and I flew out to anxiously oversee his rehabilitation.  Luckily, he is now making a good recovery.

Then, at the end of February, I was badly betrayed by a family member who I trusted as a friend and who my husband and I have supported through a particularly difficult time in her life.  Since then she’s started an unprovoked vendetta that has left me shocked at her level of duplicity.

So, personally and financially, the shit had hit the fan…but at least I was feeling happy and settled on a professional level.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t to last and two weeks ago the hope of having my temporary contract made permanent was smashed after I wasn’t even selected for shortlisting.  The feelings of rejection and failure have been devastating; the humiliation almost unbearable.

So now I’m painting, both literally and metaphorically, to try to make everything fresh and clean again.  Without blemish.  To cover the dirty marks of the past.  To stop the old paint showing through.

My husband, my children, my family, my friends, my health, my new, permanent job.  With every brand new stroke of paint, I’m thinking of those positives in my life and painting over the negatives.

Amazing what you can do with a tin of Magnolia paint, isn’t it?

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1 Comment


  1. Really sorry to hear how tough it’s been. It sounds like you’re doing the right thing by moving forward but gently. Have been there so many times re the shopping but have also worked behind the checkout and they’re very rarely thinking badly of you if things have to go back. (and any who do think badly have led boring lives).
    Hope things take an upturn in all ways for you.

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