On the way home from having lunch in town on Friday we popped into B&Q for a new toilet seat and came out with more than we expected because they were getting rid of some firesat ridiculous prices. I think it was old stock of a discontinued product line.
When we got home I decided to break the habit of a lifetime and actually get round to doing a bit of DIY straight away instead of letting it wait around a bit.
The fire is one of those wall-mounted electric jobs which requires no more work than drilling a couple of holes, putting screws in the holes, and hanging the fire from them, but I do like to make a meal of these things.
It was a slight disappointment, but no surprise at all, to find that the distance between the mounting points was different to the old fire so I couldn’t just remove one and hang the other. That would have been just too easy, and would have saved a trip to the Spiderland theme park in the garden AKA the shed. Twice (because I forgot to fetch the spirit level the first time).
In the meantime, Jayne had turned on the TV because she hadn’t been expecting me to start work, based on my track record of DIY-related procrastination, and was watching some of her favourite property porn. It made me feel more than a little inadequate, fussing about preparing to hand a wall-mounted fire while somebody on the TV was spending a small fortune and several years converting an old barn into a house.
After taking careful measurements I set about drilling the holes. This is when I found that our wall had an unexpected hard spot right where one of the holes was supposed to go. You know the sort of thing, It makes the drill bit sort of go round it and you end up with a slight angle on it. No real trouble though, it only registered a 3 or 4 on the personal Richter scale of swearing at inanimate objects.
Then I found that the drill bit wasn’t quite big enough because the heavy duty wall plug that came with the fire wouldn’t quite fit. It went halfway in and jammed, so it was another trip to the toolbox upstairs to fetch a hammer to force it in with. That didn’t work, so it was yet another trip upstairs to get pliers to pull it out with.
I could have got another drill bit, but that would involve another visit to Spiderland, so I just used one of my own wall plugs that I know to fit holes made by my favourite drill bit. By this time, the bloke on the TV had installed 1km of Cat-5 cabling in his new home, and there was a real chance that they would finish their barn conversion before I could finish a job that involved drilling two little holes, so I pressed on.
In no time at all I had the holes plugged, screws inserted and fire hung. I was able to plug it in and sit back feeling stupidly chuffed that I had managed hang a fire in less time than it takes to convert an 18th Century barn into a modern house, complete with spiral staircase.
If anybody out there is thinking of making a property show called Trivial Designs which doesn’t so much feature DIY challenges as the DIY-challenged, just let me know. I think could give Kenny Everatt’s Reg Prescott a run for his money!