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Clifford’s Decorating Services

Claire Powell, Theale


Claire Powell, on contemplating the splendour of her newly-painted home by Mark and Nick:

To a Decorator

When I consider how my walls had looked:

Full thirty years of griming and neglect;

The flakes and splinters where the curtains hooked

And ledges all with plants and teacups wreck’d;

Sad radiators bleeding at the rim

Most ceilings sagging, spider-worn and cracked,

All colour faded, depth of varnish thin,

Decrepitude in house and owner racked.

Then rises in me hope – joyful refrain:

That brightness, cleanness, freshness are not lost.

All can be restored and live again.

As long as I can still afford the cost.

The decorator – blessed harbinger of paint

Will sand and brush and mend walls – what a saint!


consequential mirabilis – remarkable/miraculous result

decus et candor – something glorious, looking good and gleaming/honest and honourable

ultra spem decorum – proper decoration beyond expectations