Even the most basic of jobs involves a great deal of effing and blinding on my part.
Despite that, I’ll give it a go especially if it stops PIL (a.k.a. She Who Must Be Obeyed) from bending my earhole. However, it can take me some time to complete, let alone start, a DIY task.
About 6 months ago, we went out and bought some wood flooring to put in our two bathrooms. A few weeks later, I summoned the courage and pulled up the carpet from the main bathroom. Now here’s some advise if you have sons. Never, and I mean NEVER, have carpet in the bathroom! No matter how big the toilet bowl may be, they will miss! Sons take the expression “spray your boots” quite literally. A week later, after having my ear bent and with blood coursing from both ears, I started laying the new flooring. God, it was complicated! After three days and much cursing and several thousand cups of tea, the job was basically done and, even if I say so myself, it looked jolly splendid as long as you ignored the fiddly bits around the toilet and hand basin pedestal that I hadn’t finished off. Actually, to be grammatically correct I should say “haven’t finished off”! I plan to do that tomorrow. The other bathroom? I plan to do that tomorrow as well. I’ve been busy!
I really must stop saying that because as soon as I do PIL knows she has me by the short hairs as I can never remember what it is I’ve been busy doing. PILs response is always:
“Busy doing what?”
“Errr. You know. Stuff.”
“Well. I put the rubbish out, walked the dog and emptied the dishwasher.”
“And that took all day did it?”
“Welllllll. I watched six episodes of “Suits” that I’d recorded and you wanted to delete ‘cos it was clogging up the Sky+ box and I had a couple of beers.”
And so on. Heaven help any man who dares to ask his wife or girlfriend what they’ve been up to all day. One day I’ll figure out but I’m not holding my breath!
Carrying out a DIY project promptly does have it’s drawbacks as well. When we first moved into the house we discovered boxes of floor tiles left behind by the builders. The ones I looked at matched the tiles in the kitchen and utility room so we decided to hang on to them until the time came to replace the hall carpet. Early last year the time duly arrived. I won’t do tiles because it involve complicated stuff like straight lines and being level – far beyond my capabilities. It also involves exotic substances like “Grout” and “Tile adhesive” which would more than likely result in me being stuck in the middle of the hall as a permanent feature. Or, if not me, certainly at least one of my boots! So I arranged for my builder mate, BUFF to come and do it.
The day before he was due, I ripped up the hall carpet, pulled up those bits of wood with nails sticking out and disposed of them at the council dump. I stacked the boxes of tiles, all with identical descriptions and batch numbers in the kitchen along with the grout and adhesive. I prepared everything ready for BUFFs arrival the next day. PIL was impressed. BUFF duly arrived, had a cup of tea, opened the boxes to discover the previous builders were comedians. Underneath the top tile in each box which matched our existing ones were 6 different types of tile! There were enough tiles of one type to tile the downstairs loo. PIL was no longer impressed. At least I don’t think she was because she didn’t start talking to me again until about a month later and I didn’t fancy bringing the subject up again. In the meantime the hall floor remains bare concrete. We have decided on the type of covering but we’re still agonising over the colour.
I think PIL is a glutton for punishment because a couple of months ago we (by which I mean PIL) decided to change the ceiling lights in the hall, living room and dining room. We would need 5 new lights. Two in the hall, two in the living room and one in the dining room. I think PIL felt reassured that I had managed to count the number of new lights required accurately. Hey, four fingers, one thumb. What’s hard about that? I kept quiet about it though. So PIL went ahead and ordered one new light! Apparently it was to check it would look ok. As soon as it arrived 7 weeks ago, I opened the box, checked it, made sure all the bits were there and read the instructions which seemed to be written in some weird pidgin English. I put it up last week. I’m not very fond of electricity as it has the capacity to kill you so I wanted a responsible adult present in case I electrocuted myself and needed CPR.
PIL was as close as I could get. It was a bit risky because if I fucked this up she may have just let me die!
I turned the ceiling lights On. I went to the garage and turned the fused switch labelled “Downlights” to Off while hoping that the electrician who labelled the fuses wasn’t a bloody comedian as well. I returned to the living room to confirm the ceiling lights were indeed off. They were. An excellent start. I took down the existing light and wired up the new one taking particular care to connect the wires correctly. Less than an hour later the new light was up and I’ve got to say it looked the dogs danglies! Fantastic! I might just get to see PIL naked later. I went back to the garage and flipped the fuse to On. As I came out of the garage I heard PIL shout,
Fuck! Shit! Bollocks! Jesus fucking Christ! No! Dear God, please don’t burn our home down. I’ll be a good boy and promise not to fuckin’ swear ever again!
Thinking quickly, i.e. panicking because the bloody house was on fire, I rushed back into the garage and turned the fuse off. Racing back through the kitchen, I heard PIL shout,
“It’s gone out.”
Thank fuck. And you as well God. I grabbed the fire extinguisher we keep in the kitchen.
(PIL is a great cook but as she often does that thing that women call ‘multi-tasking’ and blokes call ‘fucking several things up at the same time’, she has been known to burn water so we keep an extinguisher near the stove. Just in case.)
Where was I? Oh yeah. The kitchen. Grabbing the extinguisher I legged it to the living room. PIL was a bit startled at my sudden appearance. She looked at the extinguisher.
“What’s that for?”
“You said the light was alight” I replied.
PIL looked at me with that look that all women use when they are dealing with an imbecile and said,
“You plank! I meant the light was lit and working.”
And with a sigh of resignation she wandered off to the garage and switched the lights back on again.
PIL ordered the other four lights online and we collected them yesterday from the store. When we got home I put them all up straight away. I must say PIL has taste. The new ceiling lights look bloody marvellous. When it got dark PIL turned the wall lights on!
Have a great day.
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