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Thursday, June 7


I think I must be losing weight. It's been over a week. Surely I must nearly be there by now.

Yesterday I was the proud owner of a very dark mood indeed. I have a lot of conflict around the subject of religion to deal with, and picking over it on this blog wasn't really helping. All I got was very sarcastic, caustic and irritated.

However, I have found something to turn to in my hour of need. It's not a fictional deity. No. It's better than that. DIY. I don't need faith. I just need a paintbrush and some wire wool.

And so it came to pass that I returned home just in time to meet the people who were going to do some work on my windows. I let them in through the front door and I started to work on the back door. For the next 3 hours or so, I was working on the back door's varnish. I used wire wool to take back the surface a little, and then took the exterior to its third and final coat - it's now weatherproof - and I took the interior to its second coat.

All the while, the window people were replacing some hinges and the glass in the windows that are to be a part of the new downstairs bathroom. They finished first. Given the 9 glass panels in my back door, it was no major surprise that I had a job on my hands to varnish it all. However, I would have to say that I think I'm getting more proficient and a bit quicker at this task.

Following the varnishing, I half changed - I replaced my work trousers, leaving the shirt I was working in - and walked to the Subway shop. Normally I would drive it, but I reckoned the walk would do me good. I rang a friend and walked and talked. It was very pleasant. There's a park between my house and the shop, so I got some leaf-conditioned fresh air into my nose.

Any anger and stress I was feeling had, by this stage, receeded into a sort of impotent disappointment. That's what we need: the soporific acceptance of that which we cannot tackle - I'm sure it's exactly the art the zebra has mastered for those "I'm being eaten by a big fuckin' lion" moments.

So, I achieved serenity over my 700 calories' worth of sandwich and baked crisps.

Back at the house I used the timber I'd bought at lunchtime and lay down all the floorboards that I didn't yet have the screws to screw down. They may be down with gravity only, but they are all cut to size and any battens that needed attaching to the joists to support these boards have been cut and attached. I brandished the hand saw some. I cut a lot with it, even my thumb a little. Not too much.

I also used the jigsaw, which is a lot easier in some respects, but comes with less of a sense of manliness. It is essential for cutting a notch in the wood, so I had to use it a little bit.

This morning, at work, my 300 screws were sitting waiting for me at reception. I suspect I'll have about 200 left when I've finished with the floorboards. Ah, the impulse buying bug. Meanwhile, I used the remainder of the screws of other sizes that I already had at home last night. So I'll probably have to buy some of the longer ones soon. Despite a small mess up, I'm not too put off reusing the Screwfix people. They are cheap and they sorted out their mistake with a minimum of fuss.

So, today should be better than yesterday. I've got a day in the office and then it's off tonight to see some sort of musical performance. If it's great, I'll enjoy it. If it's shit, I'll enjoy bitching about it. There's a small risk that it's so shit that I'll get very angry, but then, it's probably only an hour long, so how bad could it be? I'm sure I'll be reporting back.


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