I always imagined that, if and when I got married, my husband would take care of all the DIY jobs around the home. No more would I have to botch repairs to lopsided cupboard doors, change fuses, screw hooks into doors, hang pictures, assemble furniture. . . oh, no, I would have a husband who would take care of all that. I would never have to handle a screwdriver or a hammer again, for I would have a man. A husband wouldn’t just be able to deal with the necessary running repairs, he would be able to do loads of extras, such as putting up shelves, maybe even build things. Everyone knows that men are born knowing how to fix things, it just comes naturally to them.
Well, apparently it doesn’t come naturally, for my husband is no more talented in this department than I am. He has the muscle power and that is it. I am the one with more time to get things done in, so all repair work and DIY is mine. My current project (which I have managed to avoid for 2 years) is to hang a curtain rail in the living room. When I have that in place I will be using my embryonic sewing machine skills to shorten the curtains, and then the room will look great and be nice and cosy (well, it will look nice and cosy, the temperature in there routinely hovers around 14 degrees Centigrade in Winter. I have suggested hiring out the space to funeral directors). First, I have to get that curtain rail up, and as there is a steel girder immediately behind some shallow plaster, this is easier said than done. I can drill till the cows come home, but I still can’t make a hole deep enough to take a decent sized screw. As if the job weren’t fun enough already, I have turned into the entertainment for my father-in-law, who keeps saying, “there is no way that is going to hold. Would you like me to come up there and drill for a while?” This is exactly what I need, a willing handyman. Unfortunately, said willing handyman is 83, and our carpets bear witness to the fact that he is none too steady with a cup of tea on solid ground, never mind a power tool up a shaky ladder. Perhaps I am just de-skilling him, but I am standing firm in my refusal to let him “have a go.”