So our new, new door has been delivered to the glaziers to have it’s double-glazed units installed, the exterior clear varnish has been purchased and it’s just a matter of waiting. Since in a former life I have hung a number of front doors, I did toy with the idea of hanging this one as well just to get it sorted. Probably just as well I kept my mouth shut. The cardinal rule of DIY is to make sure you know you can do what you are attempting, otherwise you risk having to bribe a friend or family member to apply to DIY SOS on your behalf just to get it done.

Now I’m certainly not decrying DIY as I still enjoy the general maintenance tasks and find them a pleasant change from the intense concentration which is part of my regular job. One thing you do learn as a jobbing maintenance contractor is to use the right tool for the job. Fortunately these days there are an enormous selection of tools and DIY aids which make the job a whole lot easier and are only a click away on the Internet. Very handy as we don’t have any large DIY warehouses in the town, needing to go to Southampton or Christchurch.

So assuming you have the right DIY stuff, there is one other thing you need. Realism. You may wonder why it is I should mention that specifically. Well, over the weekend our church had a sort of conference thing which included a kick around on an all-weather pitch at lunchtime. With visions of my youthful turn of speed and ball control I sallied forth onto the field of conflict only to be sadly brought down to earth. One skinned knee later, my legs just about given out, I realised there are good reasons why professional footballers only have a short career, and why mine had never got started. Fortunately my weekly swimming kept me from complete muscle failure, but I fear that my playing days are pretty much over. Realistically though, I know that hope springs higher than I was able to do on the pitch and the chances are that the side effects will have sufficiently receded for my delusion to continue the next time the call goes out.

So as the sergeant on Hill Street Blues used to say, “Let’s be careful out there” and only start the DIY jobs you are likely to finish, not the ones which are (now) beyond you!