“Basic research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing,” said Wernher von Braun. In my case, replace the word ‘research’ with ‘DIY’ and you have a clue — I am bloody useless.
I’m not quite sure how. My dad is an engineer and has made things. Out of metal. My best effort was a soldered together Maltese Cross shaped ashtray in metalwork when I was 12 and I have left the practical stuff behind me ever since.
So when a tap starts leaking, I stand there scratching my head and mumbling things like, “Hmm. The seal’s gone. That or the valve,” like I know what I’m talking about. I don’t. And Mrs P has me sussed.
This happened the other day. Our outdoor tap started leaking like deep throat. The water supply had to be cut off inside while I hummed and ahed over what was to to be done, reaching the conclusion that it was totally beyond me and required the services of an (expensive) plumber.
C’mon, it’s June, we have a garden and the only alternative to a hose is humping watering cans up and down the path. And I don’t like to see Mrs P over-exerted.
But that is where she comes into her own. Mrs P thinks she is genetically challenged. She isn’t. She has the three key genes that marks her down to transmit her DNA to the next millennium — energy, talking and luck.
She was outside giving the front hedge a trim (I told you I’m hopeless) when a near neighbour walked past and the talking gene kicked in. How the conversation swept to leaky taps, I’m not sure. Luck, I guess.
And by luck he actually knows what he’s doing with copper pipe and capilliary valves and that.
Upshot is, we have an outdoor tap again. Plants are being watered. And I think we have two more guests for our ‘Murder’ party in two week’s time.
“Mrs P the killer, victim Mr P with the lead pipe in the conservatory.” Because he knows bugger all about DIY.