For just a brief moment today I thought I might have to make a trip to St Vincent’s Hospital’s Emergency Department. I was putting together new bunk-beds I’d bought for the second bedroom. In moving part of the frame around the bedroom to get everything in place I managed to clip the overhead light-fitting. I was lucky the resulting shower of fine glass didn’t get into my eyes, but it did slice the top of my wrist. “Oh look”, I thought to myself when I noticed the blood, “it appears as though I’ve attempted suicide but got it horribly wrong”. A quick wash under the tap and the use of some pressure and all was fine. Even if I do have an exposed light-fitting until I make a trip to the hardware store on the weekend, at least I know I’m not haemophiliac.
I’ve been after a new bed for the second room for quite some time. Until today I was using my very old (sixteen years) fold-out sofa as my visitor’s bed. Of course, it hasn’t been all that satisfactory, since it takes up most of the bedroom when folded out. A quick visit to the Moore Park Supacetre on the weekend resulted in the purchase of bunk-beds which I thought offered the greatest amount of flexibility in an otherwise small room. You know, two people can have their own bed, or one person can use the other bed for suitcase storage etc. The bunk-beds arrived at some ungodly hour this morning, or at least, at an hour when I was still fast asleep.
Within minutes of their arrival, I set straight to the task of removing the sofa and installing the bunk-beds. Although they came without any instructions, it looked simple enough I thought, and began the construction task with not one, but two allen keys! Half way through I realised some of the seemingly useless associated accessories which came in the box and which I was about to throw in the bin, actually did have a purpose, and was forced to go back to scratch (twice). An hour or so later, amidst much cursing, they were ready. So of course the first thing I did was grab a BIG glass of water (it was exhausting work) and had a lie down to complete what I had just done.
It was then I confirmed to myself I’m not really very good with home handy-man stuff. Aside from some basic carpentry (up to Year 10), and some reasonable plumbing skills (my dad was a plumber), I find some of these home handy-man things very boring and often frustrating. Ask me to put together a sound system, install some technology or fix a computer and I’m your man. Ask me to use an allen key or to move some furniture and you’re definitely on shaky ground.
In my family at least I’m the man who fixes all the technology. About ten years ago when UHF television was introduced on the North Coast, I spent at least two days of my Christmas holiday on the rooftops of various family members doing antenna installations. And then about two years ago, when digital set-top boxes became all the rage, at least half a dozen of them sat in cardboard boxes until I was home for Christmas and able to do the very basic installations. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing it, and in the midst of a family of carpenters, cooks, sewers, plumbers and mechanics, it’s good to know I have an important role: “the tech guy”.