Most of my adult life I’ve had to fend for myself as, the majority of the time, I lived on my own. I used to spend most of my spare time creating a cosy home – decorating, diy, gardening and riding, competing and caring for my horse. Gradually, after moving to the cottage 22 years ago, I stopped riding and competing my horse, as I was far too busy creating a rose garden, building trellises and rose tunnels and sorting out the cottage.
Then, when 11 years ago, my then partner moved in with his cat and his horse, I let him take over the more mundane tasks, drilling holes in walls, putting up shelves and generally fixing things. I gradually stopped decorating or tending my gardening.
Instead, my poor horse was dragged out of retirement and most weekends were taken up with grooming and going out for lovely long rides together, sometimes three hours or more. We loved being together, enjoying the peaceful countryside and quiet country lanes surrounding the cottage.
When we split 14 months or so ago, my daily routine absorbed the diy, decorating etc. After 10 years of doing very little, I decorated three rooms and the stairs and landing in the last 14 months. So, when my nephew came over for lunch one Sunday, with a huge picture, I had no worries about hanging it. Piece of cake I thought. A very kind gift. One of my late brother’s watercolours which is beautiful. He was very talented.
As it was quite a large painting, I felt that a picture hook would not be robust enough, so I needed to drill a hole. Under the wall light. Now, I wondered, would the electricity cables feed down from the ceiling, or up from the floor? As the hole I needed to drill was directly under the light, I was a little concerned about electrocuting myself. Wish I had one of those thingeys that would tell you where the wires were. But I didn’t. Okay, use a circuit breaker I thought, then if you do hit a live wire you will just frizzle yourself a little but you wouldn’t go up in a huge puff of smoke!
So I found the circuit breaker and tested it. Miraculous, it was working! I carefully laid out the extension lead and plugged it in to the circuit breaker. Then found the drill and went to plug it in and discovered ….. it was cordless! What a wally I am, felt so silly. Was so glad there was nobody around to mock me! Is this what happens as you get past 60?
Not to be deterred, I picked the bit that I thought would be the right size and corresponding rawplug. Size 8 drill bit it said on the rawplug, but there was nothing written on the bit or in the lid of the drill box. Ho hum, I thought and tried to drill into the hard, concrete blocks with which the extension was built. After huffing and puffing and putting lots of welly behind it I had drilled just a quarter of an inch. Must need to put it on ‘hammer’ I thought. 10 minutes of fiddling I managed that and carried on, sweating and huffing and puffing. Eventually I drilled in up to the end of the bit. Phew, I thought, that was difficult! Had to put in a smaller rawplug before I could screw in a screw I felt would be man-enough to hold the picture.
It wasn’t until later in the evening when I was eating supper, admiring my brother’s painting, and my handiwork, that I realised that I had drilled the hole with a wood bit, not a masonary one. No wonder it was such hard work. Oh dear, derrrr!