Sunday, May 13, 2012

Washing brushes.

Do you know, I wash paintbrushes exactly the same way as my dad did.

We've been painting Rosie's room, ready for her to move into (no, I'm not one of those women who has her child's nursery ready before they're born...) and there have been lots of brushes to wash.

Dad never taught me the best way to wash a paintbrush, but I watched him over the years and I instinctively do it the same way - run the water through the bristles until most of the paint has gone, then turn the brush upside down, drizzle a bit of washing-up liquid through the bristles and then rub the brush in the palm of your hand until it's clean. Then you rinse it out and shake all the water out. (Splattering the kitchen windows is optional!)

I don't know - maybe that's how everyone cleans their paintbrushes, but every time I wash a brush it's like I'm looking at Dad's hands, not mine.

He had big hands, my dad. Big, strong, warm, capable hands with square nails that were always short and clean.

I never realised how many scars he had on his hands until I sat for so long with him, just holding his hand, when he was so poorly. Lots and lots of little scars from all his years of fixing things and building things.

It's more than two-and-a-half years since I last held my dad's hand.

It's funny, I never really used to pay much attention to his hands when he was still here - but if I ever dream about him now, I'm nearly always holding his hand.

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