Do you remember, or have you ever experienced the delicious feeling of liberation when you spontaneously and unilaterally decide to bunk off work? You wake up in the morning and feel the weight of another day bearing down on you. The weather could be foul - as it is today - or fair, when at some point in the first hour or so you think 'sod it' to yourself. I am having a guilt-free day off.
I am not truly having a day off, because I will be preparing for some things I have to do later in the week, but when I do go out into the wind and rain it will be with a lighter heart than I was expecting to have before dawn.
I am running low on black powder pigment. Black is usually the colour to be used up first, because the primary ones are used sparingly and their vividness has to be tempered with a dirty, greenish background. Only faux lichen demands unadulterated primaries.
I used to visit a children's educational shop here and buy tubs of dry pigment quite cheaply, but - of course - they were banned for being a dust hazard and horrible, murky, liquid colours were put in their place. I need as consistently strong pigments as possible and the beauty of the kids ones were that they were all the same strength. You do get used to putting in different quantities of varying strength pigments, but it is all trial and error so consequently a pain in the arse.
A few times I have been to London and bought pigments from an old theatrical supply shop in Drury Lane. These - if you haven't already guessed - are for backdrop painting and are very good for my purposes. I avoid artists pigments because they are so expensive and so inconsistent, but sometimes I have to use the lime-fast ones if going over mortar. Today I will walk to a traditional old decorators shop and hope they have remained traditional enough to stock dry pigment.
Scene: A bow-fronted, darkly-lit, wooden-floored interior with racks and shelves from floor to grubby ceiling. The tinkling of a small bell brings a white-aproned, elderly man out from an even darker recess at the rear of the shop.
Good afternoon Sir. How may I help you?
I require some black pigment.
Of course Sir. Does Sir require Lamp Black, Bone Black, Ivory Black, Carbon Black or Mars Black? We do have a limited quantity of Mumia in stock if Sir has a use for it.
These days there are more different types of coffee than there are black pigments, and the only one I can order with any certainty as to what I will get is... black.