Taking Stock - March 17, 2014

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The thing about buying a new house, unless it’s just been built, is there’s always one or two surprise jobs to do when you move in.

Having taken the plunge into home ownership in recent weeks, I must admit to spending much of the time I’ve not been in the office up a ladder.

Normally around the house my duties are limited to picking up the dog’s presents and not getting in the way too much. But needs must and armed with my trusty Jeremy Clarkson screwdriver (the one with the long handle and blunt end) I’ve been busy getting all those little odds and ends sorted.

There have been pictures to hang (some of them are even straight), flat pack furniture items to assemble (none of which are straight) and, most importantly of all, the shed roof to fix.

‘Get a man in’, she said – pointing at my endless catalogue of DIY disasters.

But, having seen the gas bill from the house we just left, I put my foot down and decided it would be best going for the cheap option.

After all, it’s not the most horrific or DIY tasks – unlike the one shared with me by a colleague last week.

He’d been given the simple task of changing a toilet seat, simple enough until the realisation that the bolts were firmly rusted into place.

I share his pain, having been in the same situation.

No amount of gentle persuasion from the Clarkson screwdriver would shift the things, a hacksaw eventually did the job but not before I’d cracked the bowl.

Anyway, armed with a roll of roofing felt and a bag of dangerously sharp nails I took to the shed task with a combination of blind enthusiasm and misplaced trust in my abilities.

And the surprising thing is, I’m still alive to tell the tale.

The results are certainly not beautiful and the likelihood is the next time a gale whips across Little Thornton my ham-fisted efforts will go flying off towards Garstang

But, you know, I’m feeling a little proud to finish without at least one trip to accident and emergency.

The finish is what you might describe as rustic or, more accurately, wonky.

Even so, I think it’s time to crack open a beer and toast a job well done… for now.