Tuesday 13 March 2012


Do you suffer from the "ability gap?"

This is the difference between the job in your mind's eye and the reality of the job.

Another twist on it is the difference between your ability to do the job and the reality of your attempt. In other words abject failure each time you try.

The two above coupled with "activity amnesia" mean we just never learn from our mistakes.

Spring is here and the sound of power tools is in the air.

Yes, all those jobs around the house that you have been meaning to get around to are now going to be tackled.

Since marrying the Dark Lady last December there is now added impetus at "Lester Towers" (can also be "Lester Acres"). It is DJ law that anyone referring on the radio to their home has to use one of the two descriptions.

If you describe your abode on the air as your "farm" however, you are then immediately banished to a Saturday morning backwater on a small station in the Cotswolds where you can remember your heyday when you and your great mates went drag racing at Santa Pod on a weekend and wore funny costumes when introducing Top Of The Pops.

I have lived with certain things that needed fixing at my place for years - ever since I moved in at the turn of the millennium in fact. By now any self respecting person would have sorted everything out. However due to incompetence, inertia and the ever present spectre of high quality daytime teevee, important and less important jobs can be overlooked.

Plus to give her her due, when I first met the DL she was going the the throes of having a new kitchen installed. When your house is so tiny that half the ground floor space is kitchen, you can imagine how easy it is to grow to hate any form of building work. Scarcely had that finished then it was into a long period of refurbishment work at her work which involved the whole office moving to a different floor. Then back down again three months later. Although due to "slippage" I think it was more like four months by the time they returned to their usual home. Think of the disruption there!

Think of the number of computers and files and desk toys, gonks, photos of loved ones, bottles of pills, jars of hand cream and nudie calendars that must work out at. That is a lot of chaos!

So with this in mind, I realised that there were a couple of pictures that needed hanging as they had been leaning against the wall just by where they were supposed to be hung for nearly twelve years now. Plus I bought a new toilet seat and one of the fastenings didn't fasten due to a faulty nut.

By the time she came to stay this would all be fixed, I promised her.

The look I received was one I have seen many times before. A rough translation is "oh yeah?"

She is still scarred by my attempts a few months ago to replace her smoke alarm with one that was more suited to a kitchen, as it didn't go off every time the oven door was opened. (We are talking heat not smoke causing this to go off, I hasten to point out). I was able to replace one with the other fairly easily. Unfortunately, I also managed to remove a strip of paper from the ceiling in the process so that decorators had to be called in to make good.

I had tried to fix the loo seat some weeks ago and failed, which ended up in a middle aged mature petulant rage. Not quite lying face down on the carpet drumming my feet and hands but close.

So having visited Acme toilet fitting supplies, I managed to pick up some new hinges which to my utter surprise fitted without protest. Within fifteen minutes I had a serviceable khazi. Then to the easy part, or so I thought - the pictures. The small one went up with no difficulty. The larger one was going to need a little more security. Two screws were going to be required with rawlplugs too! (I have all the lingo. Move over Handy Andy)

First hole drilled and plug and screw securely fitted. Second hole and the first obstacle. The drill bit hit stone and refused to make a deep enough hole. In fact, it made a large hole in the plaster as it rattled about. Hmmm, move along the wall a bit. Same thing happened. Third time lucky and I now have a full complement of pictures with rather more holes than necessary. Although on the plus side you can't see the damage as they are hidden by a large picture.

After that success, we set off for France to see some friends. More on that in tomorrow's exciting installment of "The Man Who Didn't Do Much!"


Martin Lower said...

Evenin' Dark Lord,

I too suffer from the "ability gap". Thus my ridiculous feelings of pride when I manage to accomplish anything at all; even something as straightforward as putting up a picture!
Mind you, it could be worse. A friend of mine takes photos of all his DIY successes!

Love the shoe.....

Anonymous said...

Aaaah - Fluff again on your blog - cool!

Ginny Johnson said...

I tried to put a noticeboard up once. Drilled a hole in the wall and half the wall fell off! A friend who is a surveyor said it wasn't my fault just a badly built wall!