Oh, the thrill of bleeding radiators

Ihave just spent a happy two hours using my new toy.

Ihave just spent a happy two hours using my new toy. Nothing dodgy don't worry, but a blow lamp - if that's what they're called, it looks like a hair dryer and you point it at flaking paintwork and it comes off like butter.

My new found interest in thrift and things practical (both a feature of middle age I imagine) mean that I have been sanding down and repainting some garden furniture which ordinarily I would have chucked out and taken to the skip.

It's all been sitting out in the garden for about five years and because I have never been careful enough or organised enough to bring it all in for winter hibernation, the paint is coming off.

I decided to have a go at sanding it down and painting it a brand new very middle class shade of green and hey presto I now have what amounts to a new garden table and chair set. For virtually nothing!.

It only happened because I happened to show sad peeling table and chairs to a friend's husband who explained that I could indeed restore it very easily - and lent me his blow torch.

I am so taken with it, I have done barely anything else, totally caught up in my paint stripping and undercoating and glossing that the whole weekend which should have been taken up with tasks, errands and difficult phone calls.

Work has passed in peachy calm with me in the garden shed with sandpaper and blow torch.

So enthusiastic am I , so converted am I to the joys of DIY that I think I might do one of those evening classes next autumn.

I might graduate up to an electric drill even. Think of the thrill at being able to bleed your own radiator, at being able to put up a shelf or grout a tile without getting a man in!

Apparently women taking up DIY is the new big trend, women are buying electric drills in their droves, there's probably a niche market for pink ones.

My husband has many talents but DIY is not amongst them.

Somehow until now I have not really been attracted to men who are brilliant at DIY, but I guess if I were unlucky enough to be back on the dating market (God forbid) I think my taste in men would have changed since I was in my thirties.

I mean of course it would have changed because for one thing the men who I would potentially be speed dating would be in their late forties or fifties or even sixties, so they are likely to look more like Jeremy Clarkson than Jude Law but I think that the qualities I would be looking for might be different.

These days I think a man with most of his own teeth and who is very very clever with an electric drill might be enough to get me interested.

Whereas in my thirties I was looking for entirely different qualities like ambition, cleverness, and if I am honest, status.

Now it might be someone who could hang a curtain rail or remodel my kitchen.

It might be nature's way of ensuring that women of my age who are dating choose someone who might be a thrifty accompaniment to retirement rather than someone who has to provide for their children or provide them with super clever genes.

Either way I think I might like the company of men of my own age who spend time in their sheds doing useful and clever things with a work mate and listening to a nice radio play in the afternoon.


David Whetstone
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