Two hours

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You can do a lot of things in two hours. You can get in the weekly shopping, see a movie, take a drive somewhere and have a picnic, you can even fly off to another country if it isn’t too far away. Saturday was the day for E to meet up with her group, they meet together as a group on the third Saturday in the month and E sometimes meets with her friend from the group for special trips related to their groups activities. It means I get to stay alone at home unless I’ve anything planned, which is not often the case. In recent days I have been engaged it carrying out many of the little jobs that needed to be done at home now that I am free from doing any major project. I’ve been very busy this year doing major domestic projects and I hadn’t the time for the smaller things. The top room of the house, well one of the three that are up there, had been renovated earlier in the year but I never got around to re-fixing the curtain rail over the window. I decided to do it on Saturday afternoon. The original rail had been fixed to a length of wood which in turn had been screwed to the brick wall above the window but that part of the wall had been weak and the whole assembly had been insecure. Whilst engaged in the refurbishment I carried out repairs to the wall but knew that attempting to re-fix the rail there would still be fraught with difficulties unless I could find a good and solid place to screw it to. That meant finding the brick and not the seam but to do that wasn’t easy especially as the wall is covered with plaster. It’s a common problem with brick walls unless the seams are as hard as the bricks! Fixing the rail should have been straightforward and should have taken me no longer than fifteen minutes or so but it took two hours. wooden-rail-3Having decided to attempt to fix the two supports for the rail to the same brick wall I drilled the single hole for the first one which took a couple of minutes and screwed it in place. Then I began to drill the second hole and hit a seam. With the right sized screw and plug I thought it wouldn’t be a problem but the plug disappeared down the hole. I fetched another and put it in the hole and it stopped as it hit the first one. I attempted to screw the support but the screw kept on turning. I put a larger plug into the hole and using a larger screw made another attempt. Still no success. I was beginning to get very frustrated. I couldn’t simply move the support along and try again because it would have prevented the curtain from drawing closed. My only alternative was to attach that end of the rail to the adjacent wall which is at right angles to the window and fortunately right next to the window frame. The proper fixing support could not be used on the adjacent wall so instead I had to manufacture one which would support the end of the rail end-on. I needed a block of wood with a 25 mm hole drilled out in which the end of the rail could be pushed then that block could be screwed to the adjacent wall with two smaller screws. It all sounds so simple but at every point along the way I was met with one problem or another, screws too long or too short, drill bits blunt, brick wall too hard (yes the bricks are hard in one or two places around the house) and the fact that I had to take a few trips down to the cellar and back which is four floors below. In the end it took me two hours but I did hang the curtain too, after I had located the  plastic curtain hooks and inserted them into the webbing. I also managed to get it all done five minutes before E returned home despite how long it had taken to do.

Shirley Anne

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