From powerpoint to paint pot

I found myself yesterday chasing all over town for a pot of white paint to complete the Norman sword I’m co-creating with my son for his assembly next week. In between meetings about potential work collaborations, I had a sole focus: buy white paint. I was even close to asking a work contact with whom I was attempting to establish some kind of professional credibility about whether they knew of a shop near their office where I might find such an item. But their age, demeanour and anecdotes cried out that they were still getting to used to cooking for themselves (yes I do collaborate with people several decades my junior) and I figured that looking for children’s paint would put me squarely in a category labelled ‘old and past it’. So I resisted.

Two shops later, and still no luck. Paint in almost any other colour you could dream of but no white. Not unless I spent 20 quid on a full paint set. Now that I don’t have a steady income, this is definitely out of the question. On the way back to the tube after another meeting, I spied a little shop and thought I’d give it a go. You never know. Clearly you never do know because, lurking in the corner were pots of white paint suitable for cardboard swords. Well, suitable for painting on paper which in my breathless excitement, I was choosing to read as suitable for Norman swords. For assemblies. There were even – even greater joy – two colours of white to choose from. A slightly more platinum effect, and a white white. I chose and paid and, giddy with the possibilities of using the platinum, I emerged triumphant onto the street.

Running down the steps to the tube, I realised that I had gained more satisfaction from finding white paint for a school assembly than I had gained in probably all the years of completing powerpoint decks, proposals, or papers for the boss. My, how my world had changed. And in a great way.

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