There’s no getting past it, this week I’ve been feeling a little deflated.
That might be something of an exaggeration but there are certainly one or two items around the Stocks household which have, in recent weeks, taken the wind out of my sails.
And they’ve done so by letting the wind out of themselves.
That’s the problem with inflatables, they tend to conform to the theory what goes up must come down.
It started when My Good Wife, under the usual intense pressure from The Munchkin, came home one day with a blow up chair.
Not, you understand, for the grown-ups of the household.
I’ve experimented with such items of furniture in the past (extremely distant, student digs, don’t go asking too many more questions) and I know that these kinds of things tend to go flat well before they’ve gone out of fashion.
And so it proved with our latest blow up purchase which, of course, now becomes my responsibility to fix.
Given that I’ve only just got round to sorting the slow puncture on my car, I’m probably not the best person to be tasked with chair fixing, but at least I have form.
I can still remember sitting out in the yard with the inner tube from my tired old bike and a bucket of water.
I recall bicycle tyres had a habit of going at the most inopportune moments; for example, mid way between Garstang and Pilling on a damp autumn afternoon.
It was only after having wheeled the rattling frame the best part of two miles to find a phone box I realised I had absolutely no money – it took another half-an-hour to reach the relative safety of a friend’s farmhouse.
‘Didn’t you take your pump?’ a less than sympathetic parent would ask – a fat lot of good it would have proven given the size of the thorn sticking out of my crippled wheel.
One the wheel was off (far trickier with the back one, chains and gears to negotiate) it was in to the bucket to search for that leak, with the help of a few giveaway bubbles. Then the gluing, patching and a heck of a lot of patience before you were finally back on the road.
Easy enough with an inner tube, but a chair?
I’ve come to the conclusion the only thing for it is to do things on a much larger scale.
Forget the bucket, or mum’s washing up bowl, I’m going to have to use the bath.
That’s something I would never have been able to do with my old bike wheels, even though there was usually far more dirt and grease on me that on the stricken cycle.
Still, at least the repair kit seems a little easier to use.
No chance, for a start, of sticking my fingers together. The patches come ready glued– if I can remember where I put them – not an easy task given that they’re completely see through.
Still, it’s something I’ve got to make sure I get round to – not least because there’s a half inflated chair in my bath.
And besides, I wouldn’t want my little girl feeling let down by her chair and her dad.