Life: Practicality, Plumbers & Pumpkins

I like to think of myself as an independent kind of girl, getting along nicely without a husband to drive me mad, but there are times when being single sucks and I’m not talking about just birthdays, Sunday mornings and Christmas. I’m talking about DIY. The smallest household job of a practical nature can send my coveted independence flying past the broken blind in the kitchen, the 3 light bulbs that need changing, the broken lock on the front door and out onto the street, hysterically looking for a man to come and put it all right.

It’s not a needy, emotional cry for help at all, it really is a genuine practical requirement for assistance. Ask me to write you a story, transform your look with a fabulous new hairdo or rustle up a banquet with the mouldy contents of your fridge and I’ll happily oblige. But ask me to change a light bulb, go shopping for washers for a gushing showerhead, or measure up for a new bath panel, and you will have to bear witness to me having a physical and emotional meltdown generated by DIY overwhelm.

In an effort to confront my fears and attain some DIY independence, I decided to watch a YouTube tutorial to repair the wireless thermostat that controls my heating. NB the ending of this story is going to be of no surprise. I followed the video, but the inside of my unit was totally different to the one in the demonstration and then I couldn’t get it back together. I had no option but to scoop up the components of my deconstructed thermostat into a carrier bag, walk into the plumber’s yard and ask to buy a new one. It was akin to being on trial when I was cross-examined as to why the innocent thermostat was in a thousand bits. Luckily, there was no bible present so I lied and told them I had dropped it. My sentence, to humbly accept that I should never attempt to fix anything ever again, but bow down to the prowess of those of a more practical persuasion and ask for help.

Once released from the plumber’s yard, I escaped to the countryside with my pseudo-husband – who is as useless at DIY as I am – and his son, my godson. Our mission, to seek out and walk through the Tree Tunnel of Halnaker and then visit the magnificent selection of Pumpkins on show in Slindon. Mission accomplished and autumnal feeling of fresh, chilly sunshine and satisfaction of stomping through crisp leaves achieved. It was comforting to know that my brain may not be wired up for home improvements, but it is wired up to plan a day out, pack a picnic, and rustle up a pot of soup from a Baby Bear pumpkin, procured from a gourd enthusiast, in the depths of West Sussex. Sometimes, life is just about embracing your weaknesses, accepting defeat, and running through a pile dead leaves.

 

This article also appeared in The Huffington Post  and the Brighton and Hove Independent

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