You’re all lucky to be alive.
This weekend I’ve done DIY. No, really. And the fact you are sitting there reading this disproves my theory that I am capable of destroying the world armed only with a hammer and a rawl plug.
This theory shouldn’t even exist, considering I have a flappy-about dance if I walk into a spider’s web, and even when I had a proper sledgehammer, it took a rather noticeable length of time for our old tumble-down shed think about actually tumbling down.
Yesterday, I had a task I needed to do. I am growing a cucumber, a pepper and a courgette. I say I’m growing them, what I actually mean is my dad bought them, planted them, nurtured them past the stage where I could kill them instantly at a glance, and then handed them to me with the firm belief in his eyes that he would never see them alive again.
To prove him wrong, I’ve kept them all alive and well thus far, and yesterday I had to prepare some “support” for the cucumber plant, which is a diva and requires special treatment.
This involved drilling two screws into the shed, tying string to them both and draping the excess down over the cucumber plant, which then uses the string as supports when the cucumbers grow.
I usually approach powertools with the sort of trepidation a man covered in petrol would light a cigarette, and this time was no exception. Fearfully gripping the screwdriver, I located two screws in our Man Drawer. I then tiptoed up to the shed, fully expecting to swiftly locate the one spot that would collapse it neatly into a pile of firewood.
However, I amazed myself by realising it was actually a doddle. What I actually found more difficult was tying the string around the screws. Which I didn’t eventually do, outsourcing that job to my wife.
High on this success, I stood in the kitchen, hand on hips, barely short of going “GRRRRR I R MAN!”, surveying the situation. Jem had recently bought a picture to go up in the kitchen, and it was sitting there on the table, taunting me. “Awww….wassa matter? You’re not scared are you?! It’s not like you’ve never put up a picture or anything before, is it?! Right?”
Well, it’s true. I’d never attempted a picture installation before. But now…I was ready.
I located a rawl plug. And another screw in the man drawer. But wait! I had to drill a guide hole first! Uh oh. This was surely the point that would make the headlines. “Man drills hole into plastic explosive hidden in wall!”
Actually, it took three guide holes before the rawl plug could actually fit, and even then, when I hammered it in, I kind of bent it out of shape a bit, and it wasn’t so much a rawl plug as a mashed up bit of yellow plastic. But somehow the screw went in! Actually, it went in because I kept on pushing it with the screwdriver on maximum torques until it moved.
But, importantly, the picture is now up! And it’s not wonky!
I’ve also mowed the lawn, and today I bought some wooden decking pallets, on which to place my vegetables. That I’m growing. Tsk tsk.
Of course, properly installing these wooden pallets will involve me laying down a lot of weed suppressant and digging a trench!
So next weekend, I earnestly advise you to look out for bits of garden exploding into the air over the East Hunsbury area. I hear dynamite is fairly good at doing this sort of thing….