Saturday, 31 May 2014

Yes man...

Yes, I’ve always been a ‘yes’ man. No, not one of those obsequious, slick-suited, smarmy, corporate types who say ‘yes’ to everything that their bosses want, the ones who would sell their own families to further their own careers. Shall I name names? No, maybe not, but you know who you are and those of you that have met them know who they are too. No, I don’t say ‘yes’ just to curry favour, although why favour should be curried rather than fricasseed or stewed remains something of a mystery to me, I do it for altogether more deeply ingrained reasons.

I’m a ‘yes’ man nevertheless though; finding it very hard to let any opportunity go by without grasping at it like the proverbial drowning man with a straw. God knows why? I don’t remember ever being close to drowning. I think it’s something to do with my upbringing; constantly trying to please, even when you hate what you are being asked – told - to do, is bound to have an effect.

It’s almost as if when someone asks: ‘would you like to do this horrible task that nobody in their right mind would attempt,’ a mask slips down over my real face and, although my mind is whispering ‘no’, the scary clown inside me screams ‘Yes!’ A strange grin, almost a grimace appears on my face, my eyes glaze over, and for some reason well beyond my ken I’m suddenly Mr Ken Can Do, no problem at all, just show me the hare and I’ll chase it up the flagpole - and the ‘no’ that was on the edge of my lips is cancelled into nothingness.

Oh, why do I do it, when I know it’ll end in tears?

This ‘saying yes’ thing has got me into hot water over the years: a marriage or two that weren’t exactly expected, a few flings that roller-coasted into dangerous waters, jobs that were too big for my not very shiny boots, promises that I sometimes couldn’t keep, but did keep by hurting myself in various ways, sometimes years later in mental health terms.

I guess I’m like that girl in the song - just a guy that can’t say ‘no’…

What a terrible fix to be in.

You see, the problem with saying ‘yes’ is that it commits you. Saying ‘yes’ means that you are happy to do something and, in my experience, I’m sometimes not. Mind you, I’ve built businesses, travelled the world, and really grown as a person (sorry for that phrase, but it’s true) as a result of saying ‘yes’ to things that I really wanted to say ‘no’ to and, at the end of the day (as those footballing commentators say), it has brought me real benefits that I wouldn’t have realised if I’d followed my inclinations and said ‘no’.

Yes, that’s why I’m a ‘yes’ man, although these days I am slowly learning how to say ‘no’. Maybe it’s my age, perhaps experience, or it could be that I’m just getting increasingly cussed. ‘No’ becomes easier to say as each day passes, although I don’t think I’ll ever be a real ‘no’ man.

It’s nice to have the choice though.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Thought for the day...

So, two posts in a row without a single comment, maybe I’m losing my touch. I do know that the more I write the less sure I am that I’m writing anything of value or even if what I’m writing makes any sense or even scans. Ah, the dilemma of being creative.

I often wonder about those cavemen paintings. Just why did they do it? Was it to amuse themselves or did they charge admission to come and look at the pretty pictures? Two flints for adults, children go free. Just why did they pick up a stick, sharpen it, and begin to draw on the walls of their caves?

Of course we all start out drawing and making up stories for our own amusement, young children don’t need the opinions of others, but once you get to school and the marking begins you start to need to be told that you have done well to give what you have done value. Soon the opinions and praise of others begin to count, then the self-consciousness starts, and eventually most people give up drawing and making up stories for themselves because they ‘can’t’ when of course they can.

It’s so easy to forget how to use your imagination, far too easy to agree that you can’t draw, write, sing, make music, see the pictures in the clouds. Far too easy to replace all that instinctive creativity with education and grades and ‘can’t’.

Oh well, that’s that, my thought for today. I hope that you liked my little drawing.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Going on about nothing...

Sometimes you just need to get away don’t you? Just get away and forget whatever it is that you want to forget, or have forgotten to forget, or can’t be bothered enough to even forget the thing that you were trying to forget. Find one of those places that you can simply blank it all out, one of those places where there’s need to worry, or enjoy the enjoyable, or plan or even think.

A place to do nothing.


What’s that then?

I find it very hard to do nothing, even when I try to do nothing I find myself doing something. I can’t sit for more than a few minutes without having to get up and do something. When relaxing in the garden, I’m either dead heading plants or pulling weeds or wandering up and down trying to do nothing and not succeeding.

Maybe it’s the environment, there are places where doing nothing is easier than others. Not the beach though, I’m rubbish at doing nothing on the beach, two minutes of sitting and then I’m off looking for shells or pebbles or checking the rock pools for tiny swimming fish, or collecting rubbish to make some such nonsense with.

Even when I’m watching television, which is as close to doing nothing as I get, I have to check my mails or Facebook. Unlike the television I don’t seem to be able to switch off. As a child doing nothing was frowned upon, it was expected that you must constantly be doing something and it didn’t really matter what it was just as long as you didn’t waste time staring into space and daydreaming. Since then doing nothing seems not to be an option for me, I only wish it were. I think I’d like daydreaming my time away.

Yes, if I could just do nothing then maybe I could channel that nothingness into something creative like Wordsworth who, wandering aimlessly and lonely as a cloud, came up with that poem about golden daffodils. Or, as Dali used to do, I might be able to empty my mind and see what it held inside.

Maybe if I could simply not be busy, just do nothing, then I might actually achieve something.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Film fun in a grey world...

A long time ago, in a world of 100 watt overhead bulbs and freezing cold bathrooms, there lived a boy who learnt to dream. The reason for his dreaming was that his real life was grey, as grey as the pullover his Nan had knitted him for Christmas, wrapping it in old newspapers rather than the brightly coloured wrapping paper that they sold from the shop at the end of the road. He needed colour; a life away from the falling leaves and rattling windows and magpies cawing from the grey tiled rooftops. But where would he find it?

One day his parents bought a new bureau from the Friday Man, paying for it on tick at 6d a week. It was made from cheap wood and had a pull down desk top front with shelves and individual compartments for envelopes, pens, and stamps. There were sliding glass doors at the bottom which were always falling out, but the middle of the bureau was an open shelf. For a while that shelf was an empty dark hole of nothingness, a void waiting to be filled. The boy wished that it was full of dreams, but it continued to hold only dust.

A few weeks later Auntie Clara from next door, who wasn’t his aunt at all but a lifelong friend of his mothers, knocked on the back door carrying an old cardboard box. Usually she didn’t bother to knock, but the box was far too full of books and so heavy that she couldn’t turn the handle. The box held old dreams; Film Fun annuals from the thirties and forties and Film Studio annuals with glossy portrait shots of Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart, Robert Donat and all the leading ladies of the day. The books smelled of dust and the edges of the pages were yellowed with age, but to the small boy they were a whole new world and they fitted perfectly into the empty shelf hiding the dust with their colourful bindings.

I kept those books for years, reading the adventures of Laurel and Hardy, Joe E. Brown, and Tom Mix over and over and gazing at the photographs of Lauren Bacall, Marlene Dietritch, and Gene Kelly until they were imprinted on my mind. Those old books caught my imagination and at night I’d dream that I was a player in the stories they contained. The world was never grey after that.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Destinations and expenses…

It’s funny how my mind trips along, one thought leading to another until I arrive at some destination I didn’t even know I was travelling to. Yesterday was all about tomatoes and, through one comment or another, it got me thinking about my years in the corporate world and the freedom that an expense based lifestyle gave me at the time.

Oh, it wasn’t just the car and the free petrol, driving to Scotland or Wales for the weekend cost nothing, or the booze and the meals in Michelin star restaurants, not even the motorway services breakfasts. It was the experiences that my job and my expense account afforded me. How I wish I’d appreciated the things that 'just happened' to me more at the time. I took so much for granted, experiences that today I would view as adventures and treats.

Of course I was in the business for a long time, but these days I no longer travel to Paris for the day, take a road trip to the Mysore Palace in India, visit umpteen temples in Bangalore, spend a day on a canal barge drinking champagne in Bristol, go to the races at York, open a mission kitchen in Hyderabad, pop up to the Edinburgh Fringe, watch the Cirque du Soleil in Florida, take the lift to the top of the Empire State, Lunch in Honfleur's best fish restaurant, drink Guinness in Dublin, wander the Kennedy Space Centre, spend three cold dark nights on a small yacht in a stormy North Sea. What great times I had and all at no cost to myself. And Elvis? Well, I even managed a trip to Graceland, Memphis, all paid for on expenses.

I could go on, there was something different all the time, but I won’t.

What a life I used to lead, although - when living it - it felt like it was just all meetings, planes, and cars. Yes, what a life. I used to get paid for eating, drinking, and talking, with (working) holidays thrown in for good measure. Perhaps that was one of the reasons the company fell over, although I doubt it.

I’m not complaining about my life today, the destination I’ve arrived at isn’t too bad at all, but sometimes it can be a little samey and it leaves me wishing that I’d made more effort to savor my experiences more at the time.

Of well, at least I had the opportunity. As Elvis would have said: “Thank you very much M’am.”

Wednesday, 21 May 2014


It’s British Tomato Week and time to celebrate the British tomato whether it be Cherry, Standard, Beefsteak, or plum. Quite what a British tomato is I have no idea, but we’ve been growing them here since the late 1500’s although tomatoes originated high in the Andes spreading out across the world when the Spanish arrived to steal the Inca gold.

Tomatoes are the only edible member of the deadly nightshade family and for many years were considered to be poisonous. As a child I hated them. Back then it seemed that if you quartered a tomato, threw it into a bowl with some limp lettuce and a couple of bits of soggy cucumber then you had a salad. My grandmother would always serve one up when we visited with slightly warm hard boiled eggs. It put me off salads for years.

Oddly I never connected tomatoes with soup, sauces, pizza topping, even ketchup, until I was in my teens; my early experience with the dreaded salad tomato making me blind to the beauty and flexibility of the fruit. These days I don’t know what I’d do without them. I’ve even learnt to like them raw sprinkled with salt, although not the sugar that my grandfather used to sprinkle on his.

This year I’m growing two varieties: Tumblers in baskets and Tigerella in pots and upside down planters both outside and in the greenhouse. The upside down planters are an experiment and I’m interested to see how the plants form and the resulting fruits.

The Tumblers are going to be small and sweet, ideal roasted or served in an oil dressing with mint and parsley, and the Tigerella are great for cooking with and making sauces. Tigerella tomatoes, as the name suggests, are striped yellow and red. I grew 27 plants from a packet containing 25 seeds I bought at the pound shop so I’m sure that we are going to be making a lot of chutney this year.

I’m also really keen to try a fried green tomato recipe I stumbled across. I’ll let you know how that goes when I try my first home grown green tomatoes of the season.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

A bit of graphic design...

There was a time when typefaces, logos, and layout were an important part of my life. A time when I would eat, sleep, and breathe what my tutors called graphic design. It was really a way of making a few quid out of limited artistic talent and not at all what I’d set out to do, but one way or another I managed to wangle a BA degree in it and set to designing logos for haulage companies and leaflets for sheet metal workers.

Now don’t misunderstand me, my graphic design degree stood me in very good stead over the years and still does in many ways, but it wasn’t and isn’t the creative life I once envisioned for myself. Yes, there are few cut-off ears, drunken rapier duels, or girls with a single pearl earring in the world of graphic design. That’s all saved for the more daring, and often barkingly deranged, really creative types.

Mind you, back then at least there was some ‘art’ involved in graphic design. It wasn’t all computer rendered and you really needed to be able to draw a little. Rubbing rub-down lettering in a straight line was an art form in itself, and I could name any face from the Letraset catalogue simply by looking at the ampersand. Yes, mastery of the Rotring pen was mine and I could, if required, churn out a pretty passable illustration. But it wasn’t Turner territory.

I think I was lucky though. When I came out of Art College there were plenty of jobs for young able graphic designers. Of course, this was before the Internet revolutionised design and before every man and his dog became graphic designers or at least thought that they were – making a leaflet in word through the abuse of Comic Sans and adding a low resolution picture of something or other really isn’t it though.

I hardly do any graphic design these days, the technology left me behind years ago in a world called Freehand 5.5. So when I was elected to knock up a new name-style for the shop where I potter most days I was a little unsure that I could do it. It was in need of an overhaul because, although it was only a few years old it looked like something out of the eighties and the name ‘The Trader’s Outlet’ did little for our reputation as a boutique and artisan shopping experience – I’m one of the artisans by the way. Fortunately I found that knocking out name-styles is like falling off a logo (log – sorry, in joke there folks). All you do is pick a couple of nice typefaces, mess around with the balance and layout, turn the ‘The’ on its side or sit on top of a larger letter, and away you go.

Anyway, here it is: ‘The Emporium on the Downs’. I quite like it.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Rubik's what?...

Didn't you just love the seventies with its browns and creams and baggy high-waisted trousers. Yes, the seventies was quite a monochromatic time and the brightest kid on the block, in more ways than one, was the Rubik Cube.

I had to have one and bloody expensive it was too. If I’d have waited a couple of months I could have bought one of the copies that suddenly appeared on every market stall and every discount shop for a couple of quid, but that was me - far too impatient.

Patience with puzzles was never one of my virtues, still isn’t really. I can’t ever finish a crossword without losing interest the minute I can’t work out one of the clues. Bits of bent metal become even more bent when I try to disentangle one ring from another and round plastic ball mazes have been known to resemble flying saucers when, in a fit of frustrated pique, I’ve flung them across the room.

Anyway, Erno Rubik’s Magic Cube as it was called back then. Try as I might with my cube somehow I never mastered it. In the end I did manage to beat it after a fashion though, but only by taking the bloody thing apart and rebuilding it so that it looked liked I’d solved Rubik’s cube. It had a very interesting mechanism inside, but it was never quite the same after that. It went all loose.

As did I.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

One man and his dog...

Tonight, due to the clement weather, there really is no post. The day has been sublime with blue skies and the first real heat of summer and, to be honest, I feel far too lazy to write much at all. So in place of a rant, or a tale, or one of my aimless meanderings, here's a man and his dog which I recently spotted in a hedge I must have passed a thousand times before and never noticed. There may be a tale to tell about them, but tonight, on this lovely warm evening, I simply can't be bothered. please feel free to make up your own.

Nice hat though.

Right, off to pour a long cold drink and light the barbecue.

Friday, 16 May 2014

A bunch of cocks...

Hello playmates, it’s been a while.

Yes, somewhere between what I might have said about the Eurovision Song Contest, new electronic devices, planting out time, that Rolf Harris person, and a fall down the stairs, I seem not to have been able to get myself along to Bedford Falls for a few days.

Of course it was mainly the bumping down of stairs on my coccyx that silenced me; a combination of too much red wine and not turning on the lights, which led to a whole ocean of agonising pain. Still, as my wife would say: “stop going on about it.”

So I shall.

Although for a moment there I think I realised how close we all are to a life in a wheelchair or worse. Sleep was a good friend, as were too many Ibuprofen, but I lost my appetite for a few days (unheard of) and even a visit to the doctor was contemplated.

But I won’t go on about it.

Which brings me to what has eventually stirred me back (excuse the pun given my stairs incident) into action.

Where a bearded, transvestite Austrian singing a second rate song, a trusted childhood hero’s smashed reputation (can you tell what it is yet), and my Kindle trauma, failed, last night’s party political broadcast for the English Democrats, which was broadcast after the news, has succeeded.

Did anybody else see this load of nonsense? It contained just about every jingoistic cliché in the Domesday Book. The White Cliffs of Dover, Bobby Moore, Spitfires, Churchill, Cockney singers, St George, even an English pub – oh, and a bunch of hopeless sad jerks who really should have been wearing crusader’s costumes made from knitted silver wool and bed sheets, just to make it all complete. These lot obviously have no idea, no message, and seem to have just stepped out of wartime England (not, Britain, not Europe). Vote for them? I’d rather vote… Well, I’m not sure. But certainly not them as their “agenda” – quote marks intentional – seems to be all about immigration and not allowing it.

What a waste of airtime. Do I really pay my license fee to attend an English Nutter's tea party? It should have been inserted into The Fast Show, it has a place there, as (if you ignore the underlying message and content) it was truly hilarious. Mind you, people used to laugh at Hitler in the early days – or was that Charlie Chaplin?

I could go on to seriously argue that this broadcast attempts to incite the English to racial hatred and discrimination. And of course it does. But it seems that under the banner of “politics” – quote marks intentional again – pretty much anything can be said without too much fear of prosecution.

No, I didn’t like this bunch of suited middle-aged weirdoes at all - particularly the pirate lady in black gloves - with their rallying cries and ‘repeat that message’ brainwashing. Of course there will be a lot of “people” out there – again intentional – who agree with them. But their brains, such as they are, have already been washed.

Okay that’s it. Maybe I should have stuck to The Eurovision after all.

Anyway. View the cocks here.

Be seeing you.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Fresh world…

What a fresh world it can be sometimes. It was raining this morning, I didn’t mind, there’s something about spring rain. It seems to clean everything, give things a bit of a polish. I guess you could call it renewal. Yes, renewal. It’s that time of year.

The rain on the wisteria around eight this morning was so delicately beautiful, the light perfume from the flowers subtly overwhelming, a soft pastel smear of lilac hitting my eyes and the vodka clarity of the raindrops making me want to gently shake the blooms and collect the nectar. I almost went to fetch a glass. Instead I caught a couple of drops on my fingertips and tasted them.

Occasionally something clicks and the world gets me all over again, or should I say that I get it? Odd that a couple of raindrops could, for a few moments, make me forget all the shit in this dirty world; the pain, hurt, greed, the badness and the bad people, all gone for a couple of moments inside the taste of a tiny raindrop and the fragrance of a wisteria chain. The world tasted fresh, it tasted sweet.

Let it rain.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Lost socks...

Thank God today is National Lost Sock Memorial Day, without it there probably wouldn't have been a blog this evening. Yes, it’s a slow news day in my world.

I don’t know how many socks I’ve lost over the years, but at the rate of just two a year it would add up to well over 100. Multiply that by every sock wearer in the country and that is one hell of a hill of lost hose.

Those poor lost socks, just where do they all go? Is there a land of lost socks somewhere, or do they simply disappear into another time or dimension through a black hole? Maybe it’s caused by one legged aliens sneaking into the nation’s sock drawers at night, or mice looking for a cosy sleeping bag to take back to their holes. It could even be the work of a single culprit - let’s call him the Sock Snatcher – who, like those men that steal ladies panties from washing lines, just can’t get enough single socks to satisfy his single sock fetish. Ah, the sniff of a fresh sock…

It isn’t just the lost sock either. How does the solo sock that’s left behind feel? Lonely I guess. Somehow I just can’t bear to throw that poor singleton sock away and they languish in my sock drawer hoping that one day their partner will return, which of course they never do. Sometimes, if they are the same colour, I pair them up with another solo sock and wear them out occasionally. Well, it’s a bit of a treat for both of them, a little company, a day out, and nobody ever seems to notice that they don’t completely match.

Of course, there must be lots of uses for those socks that I can’t pair up.

I’ll have a think about that and get back to you.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Beer and burgers...

It's all a bit too green for my liking.

Well, it is May, it is a work progress, and it is still pretty early in the season I guess. Even so, I begin to wonder if my little yard will ever begin to take off properly. There’s an awful lot of green this year and I’m trying not to grow nasturtiums, although I’m sure that a few will appear, so I’m already wondering where the colour will come from. Maybe the pink marguerites that I’ve grown will add some subtlety, and the sweet pea seedlings that I planted in position this week – mauves, pinks, and white – will add some frills and fragrance. But what will give my back yard the colour that it really needs?

Perhaps the mimulus monkey flower plants will help in the shady areas and a sunflower or two could provide some height and drama, but at the minute the only real colour is the yellow poppies that grow wild each year and I leave until I can’t stand them any longer.

My intention for my little haven this summer is to not overcrowd it too much in order to try to avoid the bloated chaos that always seems to arrive in September. To be honest though chaos is my nature, so it’ll be interesting to see if I can keep the lid on my instinct to plant and plant, squeezing in as many plants as I can into the tiniest of borders.

This year I want my back yard to breathe and I want to breathe along with it. I’m looking forward to the smell of the sweet peas and the buzz of the bees on a warm summer evening. I can almost taste the beer and burgers.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014


I seem to have spent most of my life listening to a whole lot of blah-di-blah-di-blah. In fact you could say I’m from the blah-di-blah generation: ‘You’ve never had it so blah-di-blah’, ‘A blah-di-blah is a long time in politics’, ‘Things can only get blah-di-blah’.

Of course it wasn’t all politics. Even at the dinner table I was fed blah-di-blah along with the sausage and mash: ‘Eat your carrots, they’ll help you see in the dark’, ‘Eat your crusts, they’ll make your hair curl’, ‘Eat your beans…’ Well, we all know what beans do blah-di-blah.

School was crammed bitch full of blah-di-blah; religious blah-di-blah, Latin blah-di-blah, army cadet corps blah-di-blah, old boy blah-di-blah, tradition blah-di-blah, and a whole bunch of teachers who believed that repeating blah-di-blah, over and over, was the best and only way to educate boys who, given the chance, just might start thinking for themselves and raid the ammunition room…rat-a-tat-tat.

Home, with its big lights and important council meetings, was almost exclusively blah-di-blah. This particular blah-di-blah, fed to me by inflexible, uninformed, parents who lived in a past that was never as rosy as they blah-di-blahed it to be, told me exactly how to live my life. The right blah-di-blahs, the wrong blah-di-blahs, the what you could blah-di-blahs, the what you couldn’t do blah-di-blahs.

Religion, death, taxes, politics, my career, all became an endless stream of blah-di-blah; a stream I was caught up in with a current I couldn’t seem swim against. It was almost as though I was expected to become an extra on Coronation Street where the conversation was blah-di-blah-di-blah, week after blah-di-blah week, month after blah-di-blah month, year after blah-di-blah year.

And then one day I made shore, found a few words, and started blogging.


Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Pushing up daisies...

Okay, let’s talk lawns. 

I have never seen the point of lawns. At home and at the cottage I don’t have any grass and I’m not at all sad about it. Just why would anyone want to make themselves a slave to an area of greenish, not very useful, uninteresting, vegetation? Lawns are far more trouble than they are worth in terms of maintenance and care time. They are either so sodden that walking on them turns them to mud, or so parched that they are cracked, scorched, deserts with all the attraction of concrete. Lawns are also full of ants and worms. So, not a good place to lie down for a nap, particularly as grass stain is hard to get out of your clothes.

Of course for a couple of weeks of the year they are great for the kids to play on, but in payback terms that’s a pretty piss-poor return. Mind you, if you have a dog…

Back in the feudal day, when we were all serfs with our own little plot of land, lawns were great for grazing a couple of sheep on. These days though it’s just another thing to stress over, and what with all the daisies, dandelions, moss, and fungal disease some people become so stressed by their lawn that they employ a lawn company to maintain it. A lawn company! I bloody ask you. Sheep would be far cheaper.

And then there’s the edges.

My mother-in-law, whose garden I have become involved with as curator, has three lawns; all far too small to be useful, all poorly drained, and all a bloody nuisance. Not that I cut them. A neighbour has been, very kindly, cutting them for years. But he doesn’t use the shears for the edges and if she mentions the fact that the edges need doing one more time I’ll scream… and no, I really don’t want to dig out the dandelions with that special tool you bought.

Oh I know that she’s an old lady, but for your information, this is the main month of the year for planting, I don’t have time to worry about a bit of grass. It simply isn’t a priority, what with all the potting, planting up, and preparing beds. Yes, I’m far too busy to be concerned about a bit of straggly grass. Besides, if I had my way I’d dig them up and put them to use with flowers, vegetables, gravel, decking, even a bloody meadow - anything other than useless, unattractive, and unproductive lawn.

Maybe I’ll spray the bloody lot with weedkiller one evening and start over from scratch.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Wiped out...

I tried ignoring the flapping rubber for a while, but you can only rely on it not raining for so long and, as I was passing a wiper blade shop, I went in and purchased two for a pound.

It wasn’t my first purchase to try to solve the flapping problem. Earlier in the week I’d purchased the wrong size, believing that this time the twenty inch would work despite knowing that I really needed an Eighteen. My second pound shop purchase was the right size though.

Now all I had to do was fit it.

I don’t know why I do it, but each time I need a new wiper blade I make the same mistake and try to fit it myself. It looks so easy. They simply clip in don’t they? Well, not quite. There are those fiddly plastic bits that need to be fitted and there seems to be dozens of alternative fiddly bits to deal with. Those fiddly bits seem to break easily too, especially when you try to use force to make the bloody thing fit.

After ten minutes of struggling, two broken fiddly bits, and a lot of F@*+ing swearing I gave up and stormed back inside the house. Of course my wife asked if I’d ‘managed it’ to which I responded ‘no I hadn’t’ and that the bloody fiddly bits had self-destructed in my hands like the tape recorder from Mission Impossible.

“I’ll have a go,” she said.

Smiling wryly I watched her leave the house in the knowledge that she’d soon be back clutching a couple of broken fiddly bits with a big imaginary ‘F’ on her forehead. There was no way that she’d be able to do it if I couldn’t and sure enough five minutes later she was back.

“There, that’s done,” she said rubbing imaginary dust from her hands in an exaggerated and altogether unnecessary manner.

I don’t know what she did or how she did it, but she had fitted my windscreen wiper without any difficulty at all. I know because I checked by flicking the stick thing in the car that makes them go back and forth. I tried it at every speed, almost draining the washer bottle to make the bloody thing break and fly off… but it didn’t.

Maybe I’ll stick to flower arranging in future and leave the heavy engineering to her.