Last week we took delivery of a climbing frame, although you wouldn’t have recognised it as such when it arrived. There were six bags of tubular steel rods all drilled with holes, three bags of nuts, bolts and assorted fitments, a swing, a slide and a canvas “den”. There were also a couple of alan keys to put it all together and several little instruction booklets with tiny diagrams that I could barely make out.
It had been delivered into our back garden in the early morning, but it hadn’t registered on my radar. Jane lead me out to the garden by the hand, pointed to it and smiled.
“Me?” I said, genuinely horrified. A teethy smile and a nod confirmed my fears.
It took me a full working day to put it together, not helped by the fact that there were children climbing all over it from the half way point. Of course a better man than I would have accomplished it in a fraction of the time – three times I had to undo large parts of it to correct my mistakes and there were several occasions when I had to bend the rods like a circus strongman to make it them fit, making me wonder if I’d put it together right. I also had more than my share of tea breaks – well it’s the English way after all.
It did look good when I had finished, and it has come in for a lot of use in the past week. I trudged back to my study to get to work on my emails – at least, I thought, I’ll be in the clear for a while now.
Not so. At 6 o’clock this morning another climbing frame was delivered – at least that’s what I think it is. I’m counting at least 40 planks of wood and there’s a huge bag of nuts and bolts, a couple of swings and an enormous slide. Our children are not going to be deprived of climbing action that’s for sure, and from the look of it old muggins here is not going to be deprived of assembling action.
The subject hasn’t come up yet, but I’m getting my arguments ready. I’ve had these conversations before and they never get me anywhere.
Me : I don’t like manual labour. Can’t we pay someone else to do it?
Jane : You’re so lazy – you’ll do anything to get out of your work.
Me : You’re completely right – I am lazy. Please can we pay someone to do it?
Jane : This is painful. It won’t take you that long…
etc. etc. Oh well – no point complaining.
King’s Head didn’t get in to the Old Newton Cup, so we’ll have to come up with another plan. Next Thursday is looking like it could be a big day, with three entries at the moment – Bouguereau, Maxwell Hawke and Parisian Gift could make for an interesting day.