Posts Tagged ‘DIY’

This an’ that (innit!)

Hi, I’m enjoying a long weekend off work. I was off Thursday, in Friday, off Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Bloody lovely! I’m just waiting for an email from the National Lottery and all will be perfect.

The one blight on my well being is my poorly thumb. I dropped a pallet container door on it at work. The door itself is only light, you could pick it up with one finger. It is five foot tall and tubular steel and it fell over just as I was reaching to pick the one beneath it up. It cracked me across the quick of my thumbnail and sweet Jesus did it hurt. I was hopping around for a couple of minutes, swearing and laughing, unable to believe it was hurting so much!

For that much pain you want to be sticking a limb back on, not fannying around with a small bruise under your nail. The lack of street cred was crippling. Wendy said I’m a big baby. Thanks for the support there, wifey. It woke me up and I had to go and ice pack it (and neck some ibuprofen) at two in the morning.

This has a knock on effect on the comfort of my saxing. Yesterday my saxing was as painful to me as it is to those who hear it. It’s my right thumb, the one that takes the weight of the sax and holds it forward in position.

Poor Bucky. I’ve known suffering. Wendy was banging on about the time she broke her arm and had to try and sleep with four steel rods drilled through the bones in her arm. Small fish compared to a bruised thumb. But we men don’t like to make a fuss.

No point is there? It always gravitates to ‘ I was in labour for thirty six hours’, anyway.

The saxing is progressing apace, despite the suffering for my art and the withering lack of sympathy I endure. As I said on my Blogger blog (will have to pick one or the other soon, it feels like I’m developing a typing stammer) Pete, the sax sensei, isn’t giving me chance to master one chapter of the book from which I’m learning, before he’s turned the page onto two new chapters. I’m always playing catch-up. He said he’s pushing me because he thinks I’m capable.

Little consolation as I spend an hour murdering new notes I can’t read, and times I can’t do.

Hey ho, it means I should get up to speed quicker, just harder.

Finding his way down to Baker Street…

Which is another point, all the bloody sax bits I’ve been looking up from pop songs seem to be played on alto sax’s. Dammnit!

The floor! I’ve finally got around to lending that forty five degree angle cutting device off Wendy’s brother, and whilst by no means perfect the job became do-able as the colonials would have it. Look:

I never said I was a floor laying woodwork monkey, OK? For me that’s pretty damn OK.

I have been obsessing over my sax of late as you are doubtless all too aware, to the exclusion of my martial arts. I got to thinking, in one of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books, there is a vampire, Otto, as memory serves.

Stick with it, I am going somewhere with this.

I have read the self-proclaimed intelligentsia saying that the Pratchmeister’s works are allegorical in their themes.

Otto had taken the pledge and was staying ‘dry’. No more blood for Otto. Obviously that is an allusion to the T.T. world of abstaining alcoholics. So far so bloody obvious. But he then went on to portray Otto as totally fixated on photography (to give it a comic twist, flash photography -light being something of an issue for vampires-).  His point was, and mine may eventually be, that the single minded obsessive energy that Otto had previously focused on drinking (blood) was now being channelled elsewhere.

We’ve got there in the end. My question is, rhetorically, has Pratchett expressed a truism?

Is this why I have been so focused on my martial arts, and now am single minded in the pursuit of sax mastery? Is it just something to do, now that I no longer drink?

Not that I am concerned if it is, just wondering is all.

On the subject of martial arts, I had a moment of epiphany last night. Keep it to yourselves, but I have finally decided that as soon as I get my driving job, and therefore have more money, I am quitting Taekwondo and going back to Wing Chun Kung Fu. (The style which Bruce Lee was taught.)

It’s not a decision lightly made, but I want a fighting martial art. Which should be an oxymoron. Sport martial arts, especially where you do all the head kicks (which I love *sob*) but are buggered if someone goes to punch you, are not what I want. Some might point out that it’s taken me eighteen months to work this out, but previously I was planning on doing both.

Now I realise if I’m working sixty hours a week, two late nights is enough time away from home. Also now I’m saxing I just want a practical, down and dirty, fight winning martial art. Learning Taekwondo just so I can show off when the fight is won seems like too much hard work.

There is still no change with the driving. Still waiting on the new trucks, so I can have an old one.

Right, that is about it. I’m all up to date, going to get some grub and start the saxing!

Later,

How hard can it be?

So very, very hard. I thought I’d surprise Wendy by doing the hall in the wooden plank effect flooring she wanted. I started a bit before ten o’clock, it’s only about nine foot square, so I thought I could have it well cracked before she returned from work. The first two planks went down relatively easily, and looked quite good.

I made a few mistakes, but learnt from them and was beginning to feel quite confident.

Then I tried to put down the third. Straight planks, cut one to length and that was it. No corners to cut out or anything, easy life. Would it join up? Would it buggery. I must have spent over an hour trying to get the third plank down. In the end I convinced myself that it was because the first two widths had come from a part pack we had left over from moving in, the third was from the new pack I’d just bought. So I took it up and cut out some more fiddly corners from new planks. The first two went down a treat, then guess what? Bet your arse. The third wouldn’t fit.

Out of options I just banged them together as best as I was able and carried on. Half past two and I was still struggling with the last plank. In my haste to get out (I had a sax lesson at three) I made a further balls of the final piece.

From the stairs it looks reasonable…

then you look a bit closer…

and regret it. Oh dear, oh deary me.

To rub salt into the wounds the front room (done by Peter, Wendy’s brother, and his father-in-law Terry) looks great, three years after it was laid.

Bottoms.

Tomorrow I’ll have a ponder. There’s only that third plank and the last one that are irredeemably dire. To replace them I’d have to buy another pack from Ikea. £17 and a trip around Ikea.

*shudders*

But I don’t know if I could get the third plank to join up even on a third attempt. Which means £17 to improve one plank. Either way I’ll have to commence operation ‘Turd Polish’ (fitting the skirting board things to hold down the floor, and more importantly to  hide the gaps) ASAP.

There is a reason why people employ tradesmen. It ain’t just laziness.

I’m pretty miffed now. I’ve spent the most of today sweating, sawing, and swearing, and the end result is a bag of tits. I don’t mind grafting all day if I get a good (hell, adequate) result, but I feel like I wasted my time and money today, and made a mess of Wendy’s dream home.

Rough and ready is fine by me, if it works it’s good enough. Wendy likes things to be aesthetic as well. Or, to put it another way not a total balls-up.

Ho hum. Low of mood am I. Still, my headache today has been manageable, small mercies and all.

Back to the sax practise, that was lamentable at my lesson today as well. Not a great day, all in all.

Later,

Buck.

Archives