'If you make happiness your goal, then you're not going to get to it… The goal should be an interesting life."

Dorothy Rowe

Monday 31 March 2008

"A five minute job"

Wensleydale is fond of this phrase – by which he means the sort of DIY job which ought to take only a few minutes – but ends up taking a lot longer.

He had a five minute job this afternoon. He wanted to install a new bathroom cabinet – but before he could do that he had to take down a mirror. However the mirror was reluctant to be unscrewed – we realised it was in situ when we came here nearly 20 years ago. Clearly it liked being where it was.

As the mirror was showing its age, Wensleydale decided the only way to remove it was to break it. I can hear the intake of breath from here - and you are right. The pieces of mirror fell into the wash basin underneath and cracked it. So the five minute job has become basin replacement. Oh, well – the room needs redecorating anyway and he did get the cabinet up without further mishap. Only another 6 years and 364 days of bad luck to go ...

My five minute job was an altogether more positive experience. I found this:


and remembered that I although I didn't have a cigarette case, I did have this little tin. What is remarkable is that I found it in the first place I looked…

We think the tin originally belonged to Wensleydale’s dad and is probably over 60 years old. It measures about 6x5x2 cm and has clearly had a hard life.

I thought making the needle case would just fill the time between getting home from the gym and making lunch. Which it did. But I noticed that the tin had two holes drilled in it – which suggested that I could put a cord through it and hang it round my neck. [There is some logic in this as I may be more likely to park needles in something which is round my neck than in the arm of the chair – which tends to upset Wensleydale. Especially when I forget they are there …]

So after lunch – I found some threads and made a machine cord. As you probably know, it is a legal requirement that a machine cord must have a tassel and some beads. Finding the beads took some time because of the thickness of the cord – and tassels are fun, but fiddly. So the five minute job took a good chunk of the day by the time I had finished it. But it was more fun than Wensleydale’s!

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