Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Who'd have thought soft furnishings could cause such homicidal rage?

Strictly speaking, it was the hardware attached. I've never been that fond of the curtain poles I inherited, and recently both the rings and the fixings have been looking increasingly precarious. The time has come for something shiny and new.

I had tested to see what sort of wall plugs I might need, honestly. What I didn't realise was that the builders of this flat had been sneakily inconsistent: at one place there might (as I'd found) be a void between the wall surface and whatever lintel they'd put in, but (as I had not found before today) at another there'd be none. All I could do was drill a hole roughly where I needed it, and only then work out how to fix a screw into it. It all served to prove the first rule of DIY: whatever you need (especially when you need it right now, before everything falls down) is still in the hardware shop - and the only really well-stocked one near here is two bus rides away.

But at last I have managed to ensure a modicum of privacy at, at least, the bedroom window. One of the brackets seems already to be plotting a bid for freedom, but sufficient unto the day, and all that. As I relax a little, I can pass on the observation that, if you should see someone in the street muttering darkly to themselves about the injustice of the world of curtains and hardware, there might be some semi-rational explanation.

These things, as my mother used to say, are sent to try us, and worse things happen at sea. Judging by the violently gusty winds and squalls of rain we've had today, the latter's all too evidently true. A night for listening to the Shipping Forecast in one's own cocoon (especially now that I can close the curtains), and particularly to the soothing midnight play-out music:

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