Mai pulite queste mani...
Yesterday I inadvertently silver-plated a couple of my fingertips. I was trying to get rid of a car-crash of tatty silver teaspoons that had collected on Mother's kitchen windowsill, and was informed that they were waiting to be re-plated and that she had some special Stuff that would do it. So I rolled up my sleeves and set to. I even remembered to wear gloves. The Stuff was indeed effective, apart from the places where I realised I was trying to plate actual holes rather than tarnished bits of spoon, and I was rather pleased with my haul of much-improved teaspoons (minus a few hopeless cases now safely in the bin, but don't tell Mother or she'll fish them out again...).
Unfortunately the Stuff had managed to seep through the gloves and has stained the tips of my right thumb and forefinger. Not, as one might hopefully imagine, as the poor man's version of Goldfinger, either - the skin is blackened and the nails turned blood-red.
So while trying heroically to scrub away the evidence, the lines from Macbeth came sneaking into my head - "What, will these hands ne'er be clean?", and I realised that those particular fingers had, one way or another (mainly red greasepaint, which stains like hell and wedges itself irretrievably down the sides of the nails), been continuously filthy since I started rehearsing Lady Macbeth.
An enduring role indeed!