Paint potty Lord Horatio here. Recently ensconced in The Snug, with a snifter to hand, I began brushing up on the latest super dooper “wonder” material called graphene. I have to say, flabbergasted just didn’t cover it. Frankly I was absolutely staggered!
Originally harvested using sticky tape and a lump of graphite, similar to the stuff used in pencils, it has turned out to have near magical properties. At one atom thick it is 200 times stronger than the toughest steel. It conducts heat and electricity superbly too.
The possibilities seemed endless. Whilst raising my glass I leant back in my armchair to ponder the enormity of it all and had one of those eureka moments. Stretching across the ancient ceiling above me was a long, thin crack surrounded by yellowing, flaking paint.
Why not, I thought, pop some of this miracle substance into a pot of emulsion and brush off a host of decorating headaches. A crack and mould free coating that could keep a room warm and last almost indefinitely seemed like a dream come true. Dawdle Hall could be transformed!
My mind was abuzz with the possibilities. Because this stuff conducts electricity the outside walls could become huge solar panels and the inside giant TV screens. As an old navy salt it also struck me rust free ships could soon be ploughing the ocean waves saving a fortune in maintenance.
How difficult could it be? With almost religious zeal I set about the task in hand. Armed with a large roll of sticky tape, I swiftly rounded up as many pencils as I could and headed for the garage to begin work. The first thing to do was come up with some of this marvellous graphene.
After a few false starts, aided and abetted by my faithful companion, I finally managed to prise the wooden shafts off the “leads” inside without sending them flying across the workshop. Naturally Whimsy the dog assumed this was a new game of fetch and was surprised when the freshly chewed remains were not warmly received.
I was on a roll so to speak. Wrapping and unwrapping the tape round the bundle of pencil “leads” seemed to be the answer. Pretty soon there was a thick layer of carbon weighing down the roll and I was ready for phase two. Unfortunately the only paint I could find was an old tin used to brighten the back of the garage many moons ago.
Never mind it would have to do. By now progress was unstoppable. Scraping the “lead” off the tape proved too laborious so I resorted to chopping up the pencil “leads” and stirring them into the pot. Flushed with success I resolved to introduce this new super coat to a wall as soon as possible. With a step ladder under one arm I sallied forth to usher in a new decorating dawn.
The north wall of Dawdle Hall seemed the obvious place to start. Permanently shady it certainly needed cheering up. In order to curb Whimsy’s enthusiasm for jumping up to try and catch the brush I took the precaution of tethering his lead to the bottom rung. Resting the tin on top of the steps, I set to with considerable gusto.
Formerly brilliant white, the paint had become a splendid shade of battleship grey thanks to the pencil “leads.” As an ex-naval officer I felt more than a tinge of pride. Leaning back to admire my handiwork the spell was broken by a thunderous exclamation behind me. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
It was Lady Winifred. Turning to face the wrath of my wife I missed my footing and toppled backwards into the prickly embrace of a large shrub. While the pot of paint flew off in one direction the ladder propelled by Whimsy shot off in the other. Her critique of my artistic efforts was withering. “It looks absolutely hideous,” she bellowed. “What on earth possessed you?”
Having extricated myself from the bushes I attempted to recover a modicum of dignity with a long winded explanation about the joys of graphene and my new invention. She was not amused and cut me short. “You fool, they already make graphene paint,” she revealed. And added for good measure, “Now you can go and buy some to cover up this horrible mess, pronto!”
To add to my woes Whimsy chose that moment to appear with the handle of the brush clasped firmly between his teeth and determined to present it to the lady of the house. With one bound he managed to turn her white summer blouse several shades of grey. Needless to say she saw red and the air turned blue! Sensing a darkening of the mood Whimsy clattered off into the distance dragging the ladder behind him.
Having painted myself into a corner, so to speak, it took a considerable amount of grovelling to get out again. Several bunches of flowers, meals out and shopping trips later I am just about back in favour and will be in touch with Graphenstone, purveyors of fine graphene paints, when my artistic licence has been renewed.
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