Being a Bright Spark

During this Bank Holiday weekend, I set myself the challenge of entering the Shed and sorting out the contents, as my dear friend Barry, has been cathartically clearing out his own.

As I am not one to not look the proverbial gift horse in the mouth, with open arms I welcomed important ‘stock’ from his shed to mine. The glowering looks from the ladies told a different story altogether, but as we were maintaining the prerequisite social-distance, they could do nothing about it. Gaily on we went, Barry et moi, backwards and forwards, to and from his shed, until our car could contain no more. I’m sure it actually, literally could have contained more, but not if I wanted dinner that evening. The warning glances were now carrying certain weight so, as Charlotte is always to be obeyed, lest on the threat excruciating pain I were ever to fall into the belief that I would simply be allowed to get away with it, I stopped loading the car while there was still room to see out of the rear window!

Having successfully fielded twenty questions of why I ‘needed’ the items to a satisfactory level of them “all being very useful to us in France”, on arriving at home and looking in my shed, I realised that circumspection was needed in how I managed what now threatened to overwhelm the four bulging walls. I like to think of my shed as a ‘cornucopia of tardistic proportions’. Where everything stored has a use. Time being the only statute that, in the fullness of, I will be shown to have chosen wisely in keeping such items against the great day of expiation. Charlotte will look in and won’t say “what on earth do you need all this junk for?” but instead she will begrudgingly admit, “well done good and faithful servant, I knew you’d have just what I needed!”

Today has seen me drag out all the shed contents for careful inspection and then restack them to include my newly acquired items. Such fun! A chap’s gleeful excitement at having the freedom to rummage through the treasure trove of his manly tools, reacquainting himself with long-forgotten gems, was a day worth remembering and savouring.

I’m all for a neat appearance, so having last week trimmed Charlotte’s front bush, I took the lawnmower out the front of where we presently live in England, to trim that grassy strip between the footpath and the kerb, as a completion to my former toil. It is only about thirty inches wide and twenty feet long, but it was looking scrappy. The local Environment Council has seemingly furloughed its staff for the foreseeable future, due to the current pandemic. 

Unfortunately, the electric lawnmower spun up to speed and promptly died on the spot. Not even managing a square foot of cutting, I was in a momentary quandary of what to do. Momentary indeed, as I remembered that I have a pair of shears somewhere in the shed. A quick sortie later and I was the proud holder of the unearthed shears. 

From Yoga for the Afflicted you will undoubtedly remember my ability to get down on the floor caused a level of amusement to Charlotte, but once more chaps, into the breach and I’m down on my knees on the footpath and clipping the grass with this oversized pair of scissors. Within a few hours, I had almost completed the task at hand, whereupon Mr Neighbour came out of his property and walked over to inform me that I could have used his lawnmower…I appreciated the offer at such a late stage but declined as my shears were doing such a fine job and my knees were already cut to ribbons.

So, back to today…My Colour Is Not Your Colour mentioned my penchant for electrical prowess (or should I say the lack of it) so I took it upon myself to investigate the electrical innards of the defunct lawnmower.

I know what you’re thinking, that this will never end well. History has a nasty habit of repeating itself and as my history is littered with incidents – such as the attempted murder of my first wife (never proven of course), self electrocution (definitely a kicking day for my heart rhythm), running an electric oven and hob off an extension lead and exchanging a light switch for a plug facia to power the running machine, history was always going to be set against me, from a long way back, with a headstart to boot!

Stripping has never caused me a problem (Michele, please sit down, your caravan awning incident was because I was very tired, nothing more, apart maybe from some alcohol consumption). Stripping of equipment is what’s on-topic here, not my undressing. So I stripped down the lawnmower and withing ten minutes had ascertained the nature of the fault, rectified it, reassembled and restored it to its former glory.

Success! And to prove it, I performed a celebratory mowing of the front strip, just to cement the fact that just sometimes I am a bright ‘sparky’ spark able to work on electrical items and for it not to end in catastrophe. 

The fact I am colourblind and with my history, I admit that this success is a rarity, however, I’m always up for the challenge to…

Carry on regardless!


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