Monday, 29 September 2014

Single Handywoman Blues

Every so often I think that it might be quite nice to have a blokey around for bigger hugs than an eleven year old can muster, the occasional bit of emotional bolstering and some practical know-how.  That's not to say that I can't manage on my own.  Spending the last two and a half years being single has made me resilient and fiercely independent even when I had a leg that didn't work properly.  'Shall I carry that for you?' said my manly, but due to his gayness, unattainable neighbour when the big roll of material that's going on the cushions in the motorhome arrived at his house the other day.  'No, you're alright'.  I said as I hoiked it over my shoulder. 'I'm a big strong girlie'.

Yesterday was one of those days when it would have been good to have been able to stand back, act the helpless female and coo whilst  someone else manfully took command over all those tools that I've accumulated.  Billy Bragg need not apply. He sings a very funny song called 'Handyman Blues' where he makes it very clear that he doesn't know one end of a screwdriver from another.  It came to mind a lot yesterday.  I've been thinking Viscount Linley might do due to his furniture making prowess but then again I don't need someone with that degree of expertise or indeed quite so upper class.  The Guardian ran a quiz last week where you could test how posh you are.  I managed a miserable 5/23 and only scored so highly because I know the names of items of clothing and use a smattering of Latin in common parlance. My friend Helen got an impressive 15 which has something to do with the fact that she's spent an awful lot of time around horses and is on close terms with people with names like Binky.

Anyway I digress so back to the case in point.  I just needed some simple shelves for the van's wardrobe as they will effectively triple its clothes storage capacity.  Just the job for the other half, except there isn't one. So it was down to me.  In a brief optimistic moment I did think I might be writing a 'How To' type of post today demonstrating coolly and calmly how women in my situation might cope with DIY tasks on their own without the need for a man.  Sadly it's not to be. After exercising my knowledge of Anglo Saxon to the limits as plywood is a bugger to work with, a trip to Trago Mills to buy a different saw and muscles that feel like they've gone ten rounds against Mike Tyson I do have finished articles.  In spite of the fact that they'll do the job, they're an abomination and I'm too embarrassed to show them off!  Time I think to hone some skills.   Do I learn how to use tools for woodwork properly or do I just polish up my prowess at flirting with chippies?


  1. Last week it took me three attempts to make a cupboard shelf, it was like the three bears, too small, too big, just right. I only got 5/23 as well but I know I'm not posh anyway :)

  2. The alternative is to go to B and Q and take advantage of their cutting service, where you can get your stuff cut to the right size!
    I scored 7/23 , but I already knew that I'm not posh - you've heard my accent!

    1. Do they cut irregular shapes? I had to cut bits for the TV aerial pole etc. That made it more tricky. xx

    2. I'm not sure. We wanted something cutting so it would fit in the car more easily. The person in front of us had what looked like an entire floor to ceiling shelving unit being cut to size!

  3. You sound like me. I always have a anything...much to the horror of DH. Nothing gets him home quicker than me saying 'I'll make a start on....'. Don't give up though, every time you do something it will get easier and you will learn a few tricks as you go along.

  4. I would love to master some tool skills! Are there no DIY classes near you? Sometimes technical colleges will offer night classes a bit like craft classes but for DIY. Like basic car maintenance but toolmanship! If I could I would. Nothing too in depth with homework etc just the chance to have a go properly under the tutor-age of a carpenter etc

    You tube is really good for how to guides and if BnQ are happy to do the fiddly cutting???

    I plan on using the tube to learn some dressmaking skills we dont have proper tools here and as its rented not much needs. Sadly only here for another two years and two months.

  5. Hey, I just went to see Billy Bragg this week and he performed that song!

    Scored 7/23 on the quiz - I know my clothing items too, and confess to being artsy.