Every summer my parents would redecorate the house. New wallpaper on the walls, new paint on the windows and doors. Every summer my father would ask my mother the same question:
‘Can we get rid of the pelmet?’
The pelmet was over the window in the living room. A big wooden thing which had been made by my great grandfather around the dawn of time. It was ugly. ‘An eyesore’ my father called it. It huge crooked and had been painted over so many times that each new coat, whatever colour it started out, ended up a dirty grey.
‘I’ll have a word with Grad,’ my mother would say, though we all knew how that would end. The suggestion would hardly have been made before Gran broke down in tears and declared ‘it’s all I have left of my father, why do you want to take that away from me?’
When Gran passed away the pelmet remained. Father hadn’t the heart to raise the subject. Instead, he applied a new coat of paint each summer, sadly shaking his head.
In the end it got one coat too many and came crashing down, taking half of the wall with it.