Not enough sleep, late to bed, up too early, but it’s the last day with the painting crew of Susie from Sheffield and Hayden from Halifax who have been on the job since the beginning, so I got up anyway. Mafalda from Portugal (yay) is on a week’s holiday and will be back next week to come and check it’s all done and probably tweak here and there, find some things that need doing anyway. Plus, her partner, Aussie Brad the builder, is going to look at the dirty lino floors and quote us on costs to fix them. Each painted section in the rooms is separated by thin walls with windows atop. All the windows are really dirty, so we started cleaning them today, it seems that there are endless jobs. Sessioneer Rohan from Sydney is staying with us and Pete who hung the guitars is from Melbourne – heavy Oz and English presence.
Pete the hanger came in today to hang more things, put up more brackets, and fixed the grids, that is stop them from making a horrible clanging noise every time you walk over them. We also had to (officially) hang fire extinguishers on the walls, put slide locks inside the toilet doors as we stared longingly at the holes where the doorknobs will be. So it’s pretty much done with the painting, floors still need work, but that might be for another time, next No. 1 single in America. Avery, his partner’s brother from Tennessee, came to visit – heavy American presence here too.
It was all about finishing up, cleaning up, tidying up as much as possible today, I was on clean the hoover duty which was like travelling through a dust storm on Mars. Olivia was moving furniture around and I emptied and cleaned a shelf and moved it for the third time into studio land. But before I did that, I sat in the front room and listened to brand-new reissue vinyl copies of both Hunky Dory (1971) and Ziggy Stardust (1972), not a phone in my hand but the inner sleeve with the lyrics, both albums, all the way through, not even distracted by living on the roundabout at the Arc de Triomphe.
Tricky, Neneh Cherry, and Goldfrapp followed from the ridiculously cheap CD section, then Depeche Mode and Neil Finn. It was music for the workers as they went about their day, although Neil Finn doesn’t seem to be painting music, especially Dizzy Heights (2014), or possibly the title unnerves people climbing ladders.