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The Chemist

Hits 1568 | Created 2004-11-30 | Modified 2007-05-16

Something that has been playing on my mind was the visit when we picked up the notorious stain. We were out in the countryside and decided to pop in on some relatives (theirs, not mine) and met an odd Czech man called Tom who grew a lot of chillis and even had some chilli jam/jelly which he made me try.

Anyway, he was staining the front doorsteps of his porch, well, had just finished, which we spotted when leaving. My mother-in-law exclaimed, 'oh, how lovely!', meaning the colour. Within five minutes Tom has banged a lid on the pot and put it in the boot of our car whilst bemoaning the fact that you couldn't buy creosote in Canada.

'In my home country, everything is painted with creosote,' he tells me, 'when I was growing up our garden had very high walls, all painted with creosote and topped with razor wire.' I looked confused at this and he clarified - 'To stop people stealing the flowers.' Very reasonable.

Now I think back though, I think I have a memory of him saying something like, 'This is a mixture of linseed oil and some other things, it is very good.' Now, add to this fact that there is no linseed oil on the number #81 tin, and the fact that he is a chemist by trade, and you have a home-made stain in a thirty year old tin....

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blog november 2004 montreal

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