On lacking the “Handyperson” life skill

I cannot rage enough about not being a handy person. I attended an all girls’ school in the 1960s and there was not a thought at that time that girls might need to do woodwork or technical drawing as a life skill. Instead we contented ourselves with cooking which was something at least. These days both are optional and so it is possible to leave school unable to do either.

I'll take to it with my sander...

I'll take to it with my new sander...

It drives me mad in hardware stores when people tell me to just build this or that or apply something or other when it is an impossible task. Recently I was told that it was easy to apply a silicone seal to a leaking shower base. I wish the sales person had been nearby as I managed to get it everywhere and all over myself without addressing the problem in question to any satisfactory degree.

The frames for kiwifruit, raspberries and brambleberries are no doubt easy to make if you know how or have the right tools but I don’t.

...and it'll be as good as new

...and it'll be as good as new (possibly)

Even the business of sanding woodwork in the garden seems to land me in trouble. Last summer I sanded back all the woodwork and stained and oiled it only to spend more money at the physiotherapist than it would have cost to pay someone to do it in the first place. But I will not be beaten. I have purchased a hand sander and I am now determined to have the external woodwork gleaming before the winter proper sets in. This is the problem, I will let you know when it is presentable again.

I did think about this at the time that I had the steps and deck and planter boxes built and it was a conscious decision to have a strip of wood around the top of the boxes so that I can sit on them and weed or plant or just have cup of tea but what seems like a good idea at the time frequently proves more problematic as time goes on.

2 thoughts on “On lacking the “Handyperson” life skill

  1. Oh, Christine, I can’t help giggling at your sealant experience. But I’ve made the odd mess of my own. The worst was probably sticking my hand to a tap with glue.

    I think it’s great that you haven’t been deterred. The only way to learn is to have a go. Start simple and build up in small steps.

    When we were kids, my sisters and I had tree-houses in the garden and Dad gave us free reign with hammer and nails. We were forever rebuilding our tree-houses, replacing tools, nails and drills, and learning useful skills. We also had our own little garden plots that we had to look after ourselves.

    Along the way, I’ve got to the point where there’s not much I can’t do around the house and garden myself. It hadn’t occurred to me until now just how lucky I was to be able to play in the backyard with a hammer and nails as a kid.

    I’ll look forward to reading about your sanding successes!

  2. Hi Christine, I now what you mean about rage against being a non-handy person. My Dad was a carpenter / cabinet maker, my brother is a blacksmith and I can’t even drive a nail! Oh well, we all have our own talents. Keep at it.

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