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.


  1. so there is hope for me yet! I think that all of us have known/know a Stevie of some sort or other

  2. My competencies are different... remember that if you ever ask me to put up a shelf... I'll do it... but its quite likely to fall down... :-)

  3. I suspect that the world is full of Stevies, Anji...

    That's funny, Caroline, my landlady's handyman can do that too. The putting up shelves that fall down bit, that is. He doesn't have different competencies, he's just differently competent :-)

  4. I expect he had the same training as me then... and I started when I was 10 or 11 so its not like I haven't had time to get at least one set of shelves to stay up.