Necessity, the mother of invention.
'Hey Darling, I've got a quick question? Can you change a plug on a lamp?'
'Of course. Why ju ask?'
'I'm checking something. Do you know how to take the S bend apart if your sink is blocked? Or change the rubber if it's leaking?'
"The S bend. Under your sink.'
Silence, then. 'I don.'
'Okay, what about replacing the stop-cock in the toilet?'
There was a longer silence this time, in the background I could hear conversation and laughing, then. 'Stop cok? Wat is dees?'
'The plastic ball that regulates the water levels in the cistern.'
'Do you know what a dowel is?'
'Can you use a sander?'
'Tut, why are ju asking thees?'
'I'm testing your girlieness,
'Girlieness, do you own a tool box?'
'I have screwdriver.'
' Okay good, and?'
She sounds genuinely confused. Glasses clink.
'Where are you?' I ask.
'Wine tasting class, we do Rosé today.'
'Oh, well you should have said. Look I'll get out of your hair. Call you at weekend. Moaw moaw.'
'Are ju okay? Ju sound fony.'
I don't tell her abut my current orange-milder today- state or the fact that I am sleeping badly this week or the fight with my mother.
'No dahling I'm fine, bye.'
'I call to ju later.'
'Okay okay. '
Now I know I've worried her for no reason. I feel a bit daft. I was going to ask her why she can't do stuff, but it occurred to me mid way through that she doesn't need to know, she simply hires someone to do whatever needs to be done. Leaving her loads of time to do the things she likes, like learn about wine.
I used to not know either, but when I moved in here I waas next to broke so I couldn't afford to hire anyone, I could barely afford to eat. Throwing my hands up and saying 'I can't do it.' was not an option, so I bought the Hamiliton Book of DIY and read it.
I took the shutters down and stripped them of fifty years worth of gloss paint by hand. I took the internal doors down and sent them off in the back of a friend'a van to be dipped. I rehung them myself with that friend. I replaced all the hinges and handles with a Tudor style hinge-they look great. I sanded, varnished, painted, fixed blockages, grouted, replaced taps, changed locks, rewired lamps, replaced putty, scrimed holes and plastered over them, hung shelves and mirrors, planed windows that were sticking and pretty much most stuff that didn't need a professional. When the wardrobes and stuff arrived, I read the instructions and built them, I put my bed together and hung curtains.
I reckon I saved myself an absolute fortune. And it wasn't really all that difficult, oh I made some mistakes along the way. Like not turning the water off when plumbing in the washing machine and getting sprayed in the face and a few other little things, but all in all the sense of satisfaction was...well irreplacable. The only thing I made a complete bags of was trying to hang wall-paper. That I cannot do without bubbles, lines not matching up and more paste on me than on the wall.
I don't think knowing all this stuff makes me less girlie either. I like cooking, floaty dresses, opera, crying over films, puppies, flowers, jewelery and having a man hold the door open for me.
My heels are high and my toolbox floweth over.