Anyone who has known J for any period of time would be able to confirm that he is clumsy, not necessarily in a falling over type of way (though there was that time he fell over on the way down Skiddaw, although I’ve always said that was more of a temper tantrum, as there was nowhere he could have a wee without being spotted from miles around) but more in the way of breaking things. During the first few months of our courtship, he broke his mum’s hoover (managed to snap the handle off when hoovering – don’t know how), nearly burnt the house down making a red wine reduction sauce, broke my mum’s shower, and he melted through the handle of a spatula when cooking tea in my old flat, then nearly scalded himself sorting it out. He’s also crushed his finger in a sash window (many years ago), sliced through the nerves on his thumb with a venetian blind (he still, regularly, reminds me that he can’t feel his thumb), fell down the stairs when we were on holiday and got a ridiculously deep carpet burn on his foot which then got infected (he still has the pictures…), has numerous burns up his arms from his catering days, and recently fell over and injured his shoulder whilst spinning the boy around in the living room (thankfully the boy was uninjured, if a little shocked).
He’s also not really a master of DIY (though he is getting better – practice may one day make perfect) in the last house (where the blind incident happened) we decided to replace our kitchen sink – something we thought would take a few hours. A Sunday was spent removing the sink, which led to all of the worktop also coming away, which led to us having to get someone in to fit the sink and replace all of the worktops. Whenever shelves needing putting up, I’d hide in another room as he’d get more and more infuriated, and we’d end up with a Swiss cheese-esque wall and a wonky shelf. He also attempted to re-render a small section of the back yard wall, he took the chisel to the small section, and the render from the whole wall came off around him.
When we got our first car, when driving it home he crashed it into a car in front of us at traffic lights, he’s also reversed into pillars at multi-storey carparks, and his mums gate post (twice). Oh, and on New Year’s Day he managed to reverse one of the back tyres of the car into a huge hole, meaning three people had to push to get the car moving again. Though, to be fair, he has never ripped the whole front of the car off, which I did in the Aldi carpark in Hexham by (rather expertly I think) attaching our front fog light to a tow ball of a car parked next to me…and reversing, and reversing…and reversing some more. Whilst a lady stood next to my car, cigarette in hand, helpfully telling me “The whole front’s coming off”.
So, as we’ve moved into a rented house, we’ve tried to be a bit more careful, and keep the DIY works to a minimum. Unfortunately though, one of the drain pipes that run down the back of the barn is blocked, and has been spewing water all over the house and needed looking at. Today J decided was the day for getting the job done (a good excuse to avoid digging the garden if you ask me), he carefully took the section of pipe down and found it was chock full of mud. I left him to it, and headed to the garden. After a while J appeared..
“Erm…can you come here for a minute?”
Me, peeved at being disturbed “What? Why?”
“I’ve got a spade handle stuck in the pipe and was wondering if you could try and pull it out?”
“I was using it to try and get the stick that I’ve got stuck in there out.”
I stomped over and took hold of the spade handle sticking from the end of the drain pipe, and so started a re-enactment of The Enormous Turnip. I pulled and pulled…but the handle did not budge. We smacked it off the ground, we poured boiling water down it, we attached baler twine (a bit of useful repurposing). But still it did not budge. I huffed off back to my digging, leaving J to try hosing water down the pipe, an hour later and still no progress and he (rather shamefacedly) messaged our farmer friend to plea for help.
By this point I’d gone inside to make some lunch, J slunk in and said; “Well, I didn’t want to tell you before, but when I put the hose up it the end came off, and that’s stuck in there too.”
Our farmer turned up with a pickaxe for the garden (J has already nearly given himself a nosebleed with it) and has taken the pipe away to unblock it, he even managed not to laugh too much (though he did say he might have laughed on receiving the message). I have a feeling I might need to start getting better at this DIY lark….and maybe should keep the pickaxe under lock and key.