THE trouble with this self isolation carry on is that Mrs Hextol keeps finding me jobs to do in all the spare time I suddenly have.

The global pandemic has meant that my career as an equine effluent disposal technician is over as the horse racing ban means my services are surplus to requirements.

That means I no longer have the excuse of being too exhausted after a hard morning’s shovelling to take on the 1001 tasks Mrs Hextol has been lining up for the past three and a half years.

One of the little undertakings she asked me to carry out was to paint over the unsightly mark on the bedroom ceiling caused by a leaky roof tile over the winter.

The mark was no bigger than the size of the average dinner plate, so it hardly equated to a rerun of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

But I suspect Michelangelo had less trouble with his glorious masterpiece than I had with a square foot of plasterboard and a bucketful of brilliant white emulsion.

Because it was such a small area, I decided I wouldn’t need the jumbo bucket of emulsion from the garage so just decanted a small amount into one of the many buckets we have accumulated that used to contain fat balls for the birds,

After pouring the paint, and getting a small amount on my trousers, I had to start rummaging in the garage for paint brushes and rollers, to make a decent job of it.

Before I found them, I had taken the skin off my shin with the pedal of a child’s tricycle, poked myself in the eye with a stray fishing rod and dropped a Calor Gas bottle on my toe.

I was going to stand on the bed to do the painting, but Mrs Hextol insisted I use a stool, and put a sizeable dust sheet on the duvet and headboard in case of splashes.

“Even I can paint something this small without splashing,” I said, but she declared ominously: “I have seen you decorate before.”

I ushered her out of the room before setting to work with the mini roller, and the stain was soon obliterated under a glowing coat of shining white.

However, to my horror, I noticed the ceiling was not the only thing I had painted – there were liberal daubs of white emulsion all over the new bedroom curtains!

The emulsion I was using was clearly not non-drip, for there were also generous globules snaking down the wardrobe too.

The more I tried to wipe off the excess, the more I spread it with my paint-encrusted hands, so I decided the best thing to do was take down the besmirched curtain, and put it in the bath for a good soak.

Unfortunately, as I was taking it down, there was a tinkle of plastic, as curtain hooks and runners started to snap off and shower all round me.

I was completely aghast at the damage I had wrought – it was almost as bad as the time I tried to change the spark plugs in my car and finished up needing a whole new engine.

There was only one thing for it – I would have to go downstairs and confess my sins to Mrs Hextol.

She was in the living room when I appeared in the kitchen, a white flecked apparition, and she said “I thought you were painting the ceiling, not yourself.”

I grinned nervously and said: “I might have splashed a little bit on one of the curtains too, but I’ve put in in the bath so you can rinse it off…”

She brushed past me in a nanosecond, hissing: “You don’t wash those curtains – they have to be dry cleaned!”

If she had a tail, she would have swished it, and then positively lashed it from side to side when she saw the debris of broken curtain hooks and sliders,

I was ordered downstairs to hunt in the innumerable little pots around the house where she keeps everything from drawing pins to dead batteries, and managed to locate half a dozen curtain hooks.

“That’s no good – you’ve broken about 20,” she gritted as she dabbed away at the white tide on the curtain.

I fled back to the garage to hide, and when I returned she had not only removed all the excess paint from the curtains, but also found and replaced all the necessary curtain paraphernalia.

She really is a wonderful woman!