Despite the snow, icy winds and mini-tornados I think Spring is definitely on the way. How do I know that, apart from the tiny lime green shoots of hope that are begining to unfurl in our weather-worn gardens? I know that Spring is here because, instead of a young man's fancy turning to thoughts of love, my old man's fancy is definitely turning to those of DIY. Now to those of you for whom DIY equates with getting all those niggly jobs done in the house, let me fill you in on the horror of DIY, Swearing Mother style.
First of all, we must identify our project. Cue for a couple of hours' depressing discussion from breakfast till coffee time, where we come up with a list so long we just stare glumly at each other. Husband comes up with some really outlandish ideas, I make a few snidey and sarcastic comments about the last time we took on such a project and just look at it now. We have another coffee, eat a few biscuits and calm down a bit. We start to talk constructively - OK, shall we finish the terrace/deal with the rotten kitchen window/sort out garage? The list seems endless. How to choose? It has to be a new project to capture the imagination of him indoors; bringing up the subject of finishing previously started but abandoned projects is viewed as not playing the game and any mention of them by me is, apparently, nagging. To hell with the fact that my ten year old kitchen still has a piece which was never fitted, that's old news now and therefore those little niggles have long since become invisible. Ditto some ungrouted tiles, the odd unpainted door, a helluva mess in the garage and a new fuseboard which remains stubbornly unfitted, celebrating it's fifteenth birthday under gardlands of cobwebs in the electricity box. I could go on. And, believe me, I do, at length.
So eventually we decide on a task. This usually means a protracted trip to one or more of the hideous DIY sheds along with the rest of the local walking dead who have been drawn out of their crumbling homes to view mass manufactured shit, cunningly got up to look like the really useful stuff you need rather than the total crap that it actually is. This weekend top of the list are some additional kitchen units and worktops because the ten year old (as yet unfinished) kitchen is now sadly needing a refit and a new fridge. I know this doesn't strictly come under the heading of DIY, but the thought of embarking on this kind of disruption fills me with dread, especially as husband thinks he can probably do a lot of the work himself (cue hollow laughter from moi) but I want to get a man in.
Now the phrase "getting a man in" is probably one of the most emotive things it's possible for me to say to my husband. It carries with it all sorts of inferences, i.e., an implied lack of commitment on his part, or lack of ability, lack of drive, confidence, expertise - you name it, "getting a man in" is almost tantamount to infidelity in our house. For a husband who is pretty damned good in the, er, household maintenance department given the time and opportunity, to him my wanting to get a man in is the ultimate betrayal. Like reading maps, bleeding radiators and going to the tip, this is HIS job and he doesn't want another bloke poking his screw-driver in where it isn't wanted.
So we reach an impasse. I don't want the chaos of infinished work bugging the life out of me for aeons, husband doesn't want some strange bloke getting his hands on my hanging units. Guess it's a territorial thing.
So now I'm on to the gentle wheedling campaign. I'm casually mentioning the fact that, really, it's a false economy to do such major work ourselves when we are both so busy, time is precious, we could be doing so many other more enjoyable things and letting someone else do the work. And then as the weather is getting nicer, we could be driving out to country pubs, taking a weekend trip to Barcelona, doing a bit of shopping in London. Whatever. Let's leave the big jobs to the professionals and just do the little leftover tasks ourselves. What do you think? Yes?
But the rot has set in now. I've caused a total distraction from home improvements and now we're doomed, the place will fall about our ears. We will neither get a man in, because husband doesn't trust him, nor DIY because I can't face the fuss. The little niggly jobs can go hang.
Stupidly, I've mentioned weekend trips, pubs, London, fun.
No wonder we never get anything done in our house.