Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Whelp, having run out of excuses for avoiding it, Ol’ Robbo bit the bullet yesterday and painted the Port Swiller Manor living room, finishing up this morning. Regular friends of the decanter will know that this was part of the project to transmogrify a formal space which for years has gone almost unused into another comfy room in which to read, chat, or stare out the window contemplating the cosmos. And as soon as I can find another strong back to help me, I’ll be moving my desk into a corner of it as well.

It’s been years since Ol’ Robbo’s last painting project, and I suppose the novelty helped slightly in dealing with all the tedium that goes with it: the moving of things about, the discovery of just how dirty the room really was, the taping up, the aches of constantly climbing up and down ladders with buckets o’ paint, etc., etc. Having done the job, I’m not in any hurry to do another one anytime soon. (Fortunately, there’s no need.)

Of course, I’m not actually, you know, done-done. There’s molding all round the ceiling and the two doorways, as well as a chair-rail that circles the room, and of course the tape didn’t stop all the paint from getting on them. So once I catch my breath (say….maybe next spring?), I’ll have to go back round and touch up. Honestly, I don’t know why I bother wasting all that time on taping in the first place: It would be just as efficient to free-hand it, which is now what I have to do anyway.

Anyhoo, I must say that the overall transformation has worked out well, in fact probably too well, in that both Mrs. R and Eldest said, “Say, can we put a teevee in there now?”

To which I replied, “No. Way. Jo. Se.”

A teevee right out, front and center, from which there is no escaping the noise is a pure abomination to me, one that has in fact become much worse the older I get. Putting one in the living room would not only make it, er, unliveable, it would also ruin any chance of sitting in the library next door in peace. No, thankee.

Besides, we have a perfectly serviceable teevee down in the basement already, and Mrs. R has one all to herself in our bedroom. And the Gels seem to watch stuff on their laptops, anyhow. Why on earth would we need another?

Ol’ Robbo is generally pretty easy-going in the matter of authority over his family, but I will assert my right of paterfamilias to stamp this out if necessary. I think they know it, too.

On a completely different note, Ol’ Robbo set up a little portable greenhouse on the porch today, in which we’re going to see if we can winter over the four ferns that live most of the year in baskets there. I look on this more as an interesting little experiment than anything else. If we can keep them going, great. If not, well, lesson learned. Personally, I give it about a 50/50 chance, largely dependent on what kind of winter Ma Nature has in store for us. It’s been pretty mild the last couple years and I think they’d be fine with that. A real stinker (for which we’re overdue), probably not so much. We’ll see.