I am pretty obsessed with DIY.
It’s not something that I’ve always been obsessed with. I didn’t grow up with posters of DeWalt Impact Drivers on my bedroom wall. It’s not like I had the ScrewFix catalogue delivered to my door before I got a subscription to other magazines. Of course not, I started on the Argos catalogue just like everyone else.
But as an adult, DIY is just so addictive. Now I’ve got posters of drills on my walls. I’ve got a whole-wall poster called The Top 100 hammer drills from 2000–2010. I need to get the new version.
It’s the power of DIY, you know? The fact that you can do anything.
One day you’re happily living in a house with creaky shelves and ill-fitting kitchen cabinets, and you don’t even notice those faults. Then, the next thing you know, you’ve got all the kit. You’ve bought a hammer, a drill, a hammer drill and… a drill hammer. You’re going to fix that door, you’re going to make those shelves less creaky.
I don’t actually get around to fixing them, but I plan to do it! I have plans. And that’s what counts. Isn’t it?
Everything is fixable, upgradable, improvable. I break a cup and I think “Yes I can fix that. No! I can actually make it better! I can give it an electronic heater to stop your coffee getting cold. I can give it an alarm to remind you when you’ve forgotten to drink your tea. I can give it a sticky handle that clings to your fingers so you won’t drop it when someone surprises you.” and then I add it to my basket of broken crockery, just waiting for the day that I’ll fix them.
It gets to the point where I actually buy things that are not right just so that I can fix them up.
My partner says “don’t buy that table, it’s cracked, it’s ugly and it’s the wrong size.” And I say “but I’ll fix it! I’ll fill the crack, paint over it, make it look nice and rustic and cut half of its legs off.”
She’s like “you haven’t bought it yet! Why not just NOT buy it in the first place and then you won’t have to do all of that? Just find a table that we actually want. And anyway, you’re never going to actually fix it.”
Of course, now she’s furious. She’s right, I haven’t got round to fixing it yet. It’s been in our dining room for 3 years.
But I will! One day.
And anyway, when I see that table… that ugly, broken table which is far too tall for both of us… I see the promise, you know? I can see the table it’s going to be. It’s almost like I don’t actually have to fix it at all. Because I can see what it’s going to look like… I mean, the job’s basically done!
My flat is full of furniture with promise. Furniture with a bright future, but a disappointing present. But, I’m not bothered. Because I can do DIY… I can do anything. Not in practice, sure, but
All of the crap, broken stuff in my flat will get fixed… one day. I’ve got all the drills, all the saws, all the screws that I need to make it happen. Well, I might need to buy a new sander first, and a better impact driver, and perhaps a second table that I can use for spare parts.
And I will fix it.