DIY can be dangerous . . . and messy

When a listener to my old BBC radio programme sent me a ‘Bob the Builder’ doll as a farewell gift, I realised I might have inadvertently given the impression that I’d personally be restoring an old finca, stone-by-stone, when we moved to Mallorca.  In fact, all we planned to do was convert what had been someone’s quaintly-appointed holiday property into a comfortable permanent home.  Hardly a major project – or so we thought.

Lesson number one in doing up an old house on Mallorca is that the work never actually ends . . . and number two is that it will always cost you more than you budgeted for.

I’m a creative, rather than practical, type.  This is a girl who – when hanging a picture –  always used the heel of her shoe to bang in the nail, so realistically, I wasn’t going to be plumbing in a new kitchen or assembling the odd door frame.

Wielding a paintbrush though is something I’ll modestly admit to doing quite well. I also find it relaxing, so The Boss was more than happy for me to tackle the varnishing job on the new wooden bedroom door that we – or more accurately, a carpenter – had installed.

Perched on a stepladder, brush and pot of varnish in hand, I was beginning to feel I was finally earning that ‘Bob the Builder’ doll.  Until the moment I discovered that flip-flops weren’t really appropriate footwear for the job.  Climbing down the ladder, a flip – or was it a flop? – caught on the edge of a step, and I crashed backwards onto the floor, splattering streaks of Honeyed Pine all around the room and over me.

Undeterred, I did eventually finish the job.  Some day soon, I’ll get out the Brillo and tackle those varnish stains on the floor tiles . . .

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