I’m not a fan of drilling. Not in the dentist sense… I have no fear of dentists since I inherited the sort of teeth that confound them. ‘Oh ho ho, you haven’t been for two years? Well we may have some work to do’ is where they usually start. Then they quickly stop rubbing their hands in greedy glee and start scratching their heads, astonished that I have never had a filling and don’t yet need one. No, the drills that disturb me are the sort required for putting up shelves, and rails, and pictures. Decorating is one thing, but drilling? All of that marking a straight line and getting out the spirit level makes me much more nervous than the words ‘now open wide’. I’m always convinced I’m going to make a mess of it, and either wreck the wall or be forever irritated by the crookedness of my handiwork.
So I have been putting off the rather fiddly task of removing some shelves from a built-in cupboard, in order to turn the space into a much needed wardrobe. Even though my clothes have been in the study, even though I have been certain that my plan will work, I have been trying to think of ways to leave the shelves and live with my clothes somewhere else. But last weekend it was raining, the word ‘rail!’ was at the top of my ‘to do’ list, and my ‘across the balcony’ neighbour Mark who spends weekends building all sorts of stuff, pooh-poohed my anxiety about the drill and said ‘just think about the glow of achievement’ when you’ve finished it.
And off I went. I emptied the cupboard (I should have taken a before picture of that; it was rather overflowing), I took out all the shelves, I got the funny little tube-cutter out and trimmed the rail I’d bought to the right length, I went to the building supplies shop and bought new screws and rawl plugs, I marked up the wall for the rail fixings and then I borrowed my neighbour’s drill. Perhaps because I had the right screws, and rawl plugs, perhaps because I’d taken the time to make sure the rail and its fixings would fit…whatever the reason, the drilling was noisy but painless. It worked! The plugs and screws fitted, the rail and its fixings went in and ta-dah, the cupboard was transformed.
But, on a wave of enthusiasm, I simply masked off the rail and floor with tape and dustsheets and clunched the wall. Hey presto…
Tonight, I took all the tape off, removed the dust sheet, hoovered the floorboards and, hurrah, installed my clothes.
I know it might not seem much but oh the satisfaction. Not only getting it done but getting it off the list and using it! Mark was right; I am positively glowing at my own self-sufficiency. I may even have to go and buy my own drill…
PS And yes, those disgusting over-varnished eighties doors will be removed at the earliest opportunity but, despite this drill success, I am sensible enough to leave carpentry to the professionals.