Who’s got access to the secret DIY manual?

5 Dec

Kind of me, after the plug incidentBefore last week and my entry into part-time employment (*cheer*), I had one simple rule. If something needed to be done to make the house a better place structurally or aesthetically, get the professionals to do it. No more would I try plumbing or gas pipe maintenance than I would volunteer myself for the X-Factor.

For some reason, now that time is while not exactly on my side, certainly more prepared to see me personally than before, something primeval within me decided that this rule no longer applied. I was invincible, I thought! I can mend complex piping junctions and redo the pointing, possibly even build a brick wall (yes, I was looking at one just yesterday thinking ‘how hard can it be – I mean, really?’ – NOT ANY MORE), you see if I can’t. I can make this part-time thing work, and become a more useful person as a result. For heaven’s sake, I have already done a first aid course!!

I have, in the process of a mere 24 hours, absolutely changed my mind. There can be no doubt that where DIY is concerned, either learning how to do it (gasp) or perhaps even not giving it a go at all, are going to be my specialisms.

Yesterday, in doing something straightforward involving plug sockets for Christmas lights, I managed to involve my fingers with a live wire. It is interesting, being electrocuted, although certainly something I could have lived without. There is a peculiar tingling buzzing sensation accompanied by lightheadedness, and very slowly my brain spoke: “You fool, you have put your fingers on the live pins exposed and not fixed when you slammed the shoe tidy into that phone plug about six months ago”.  And then persuaded me to take my fingers away. Lesson one learned. My 48-hour aberration of belief in my own electrical fixing capability is over; and yes, the phones are in the bin and a new one on the way.

Today, however, undaunted (with only a sore middle finger to remind me of my earlier vow) I decided to instal a new light pull in the bathroom. I went armed, oh yes. Scissors, stepladder, brain engaged. It was this moment when a light shone brightly in my mind (no, not another electrical experience). If you’ve not done it before, and if there aren’t any instructions, common sense can only take you part of the way. So it’s probably fair to say that all I want for Christmas is a decent DIY manual and until then, I shall be mining the wealth of professional trade knowledge in this village – and indeed in my own family!

I have fitted the light pull; but I sense it only needs one ‘moment’ from L2, or too much ‘excitement’ from L1, and chaos (and probably darkness – literally and metaphorically) will reign. There is an amateur-hour attachment of string hidden within the neat little link between old and new pulls.

The roof can wait till spring.


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