Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Hitting a brick wall

Sometimes life conspires against aspiring writers, and that's the case this week. My uncle is having an operation tomorrow, which has repercussions on the family and our commitments; there are parties, hospital appointments, a podiatry appointment ("I'm going to see the toe-ist", says my daughter) and of course, the advent of Advent on Saturday. On top of all that, Steve is away for the week with SARAID, a search and rescue organisation he volunteers with.

His absence isn't felt the way you might imagine, with four children. There is actually less work, and I am a little too gleeful about being able to throw all his 'stuff' in his wardrobe and shut the door for a whole week....but I miss having him to talk to, and the bed is empty without him (even when the three-year old is in there instead, squirming and kicking and coughing).

As part of my Great Tidy Up today (in honour of Advent and also taking advantage of Ste not being around), I picked up the broken toilet roll holder that Steve has fixed twice. I figured out the problem, applied a screwdriver, and fixed it.

You wouldn't believe the flood of overconfidence it prompted. Merely half an hour later, I found myself wielding a borrowed drill, juggling rawlplugs, screws and a spirit level, while watching youtube videos of how to hang things. Steve has a whiteboard which has been waiting to go up for two years, and would no doubt wait another two if it were left up to him, so I decided that I would do it. After all, it's part of tidying the study, and it'll be a nice surprise when he gets home. Well, it will be a surprise.

I began to drill tentatively, waiting for the bang of an electrical cable, and a steady trickle of plaster dust streamed out from under the drillbit...and then stopped. I tried changing bits, changing settings, watching more youtube videos and googling similar problems, but no matter what I do, the drill just won't drill through whatever it has found under the plaster. I thought it was brick, but evidently it is some supernatural material that is impervious to human attempts on its integrity.

So now there is a single, large hole in the wall - I've discovered that the longer you drill, the wider the hole becomes - a generous sprinkling of plaster dust, and an unhung whiteboard. Calculate however you like; that's more mess than I started with, and I don't really know what move to make next, short of phoning my Dad to bail me out.

I think perhaps I've proved one point; Steve does have more uses than keeping the bed warm. I think he'll be less impressed by my other conclusion; I need to nag him to do the jobs before two years have passed so that I'm not tempted to pick up any more power tools which I'm unqualified to least driving a laptop falls into my skill set!

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