Saturday, 10 May 2008


Marsh marigolds, in Brendagh's pond.

Over the last couple of days, I've been up on Annie's roof, sorting out a water-pouring-through-it problem; hunting for a short in Tom and Catherine's lighting circuit, which has a mind of its own; and working out why Brendagh's bath wasn't getting any cold water.

I've never entirely got over my initial misgivings at fixing things; my father always seemed so very competent at everything, and I never even tried for years because I thought I was not the practical type.

I had a road to Damascus experience long ago in Portsmouth, when I had a problem with my BSA Bantam. There was a rather strange fantasist (whoops, careful Dru) called Stevie, who practiced martial arts in the back garden and once went off to interview for a job as a mercenary. He blew it when they pointed to a jeep and told him to drive it; "I can't drive," he said... Stevie tells me he used to be a motorbike mechanic, and kindly offers to help fix my bike.

He's clouting the engine with a big hammer and I'm thinking, "I may not know much about mechanics but I know that he's not doing this right".

And so I started to learn.

Never got over that quiet sense of surprise that something I'd fixed actually worked, though.