Last week as you may have noted, by the Mercy of Zeus! (I write that in a broodingly pensive young Tony Curtis accent), a power cut revealed... A radiator springs a leak. And the same radiator lazily relaxed itself away from a living room wall. Hanging loose. Radiator fixings repair plans were afoot, (also see last week) and I just knew that would be a relatively easy feat for me to accomplish.
Meanwhile, my main concern is sequencing the tunes for my semi-demi, LP, Music Inspired By The Museumgoer of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I see it like this - front load all of the good tunes as most likely listeners will never get to the end, it does after all run now to 22 minutes or so. It was 18 minutes long, just a few minutes ago but I have totally deep sixed The House That Bernat Klein Built and replaced it with the longer, Whipped Up And Stripped Down, which is more like a song than anything I usually manage to get together, more like the Buzzcocks, without the melodies, but with the maladies, and slippers. OMG it is all sounding so great. Everytime I hear The Hush Hush Allotment I go mad, or the epic Bobby Crush pianos on quaaludes, the pianos only, I hasten to add, of Swamped By This and That. Oh! You’ve just gotta hear it.
Of course I always want the drums to sound like some lazy, half-interested behind the beat ass. Like a metronomic Clem Burke without anything that thing Clem Burke actually stands for in the world of entertainment - erm, excellence and entertainment. So before I could even get to the radiator fixings, I had to work on my drum pads and it's a pretty hopeless situation given that an unnamed giga corp. can design a product, apparently test it, ship it to stores across the world where clerks will tell customers it’s just the thing required to do the job, have taken one step closer to their monthly target, buyers buy, as foretold on the giga company marketing plan and build skyscraping offices dotted around the world on the back of that and still deliver a product that requires the end user to locate their roll of electrical insulation tape, watch a twenty minute youtube video, dismantle the product and make custom arrangements with the innards to get it to function properly.
I have gotten old just trying to make things work properly.
When I write these columns I listen to music but never with singing in English. I don’t want to know what anyone else is saying.
Meanwhile. Having dismantled the drum pads and afixed the insulation tape but before I could even get them back together. Radiator Calling. The time had come to address those wall fixings. I knew I could handle this. I’d been to Screwfix to get the Drayton Decorator Radiator Caps, and I’d replaced the thermostatic valve with one of them. And I knew what I was doing, right up until the moment I tried to release the valve from the radiator and there was a sudden comedic - no one was laughing - spurt of water from the pipe, spraying water everywhere, that wouldn’t stop. And I was stuck. One hand holding the radiator onto the wall, one wrapped around a pipe gushing water.
As an older person, I rely on Senior Home Solutions when I get into a DIY pickle. Steve from Senior Home Solutions came right over. He really did. I can almost imagine dialling 999 - “What service would you like, sir, Ambulance, Fire or Senior Home Solutions?”
Watching Steve putting the water-fire out, taking the radiator off, putting on the new fixings to attach the brackets to the wall was a bit like watching an elite athlete train. He just did everything… right. With speed, control, accuracy and finesse.
I began auditing the cost of how much I’d trashed this house with my ill-fated DIY attempts. A new induction hob will be delivered this week - a direct result of deciding I could easily hang a cooker hood on the wall, how hard could it be? Until it came crashing down. For the sake of my will to live, I quickly drew a line under the audit. Everything comes crashing down in the end.