Wednesday, March 12, 2008

There is is this bullshit idea out there in the world that women achieve more because they can 'Multi-task'. A statement which, whenever I encounter it, usually elicits from me the reply that men don't 'Multi-task' because we don't have to - we're organised; we finish things.

Today I found myself multi-tasking.

We have a little electric geyser thing in our kitchen. It's ancient, the sort of design any wanky interior decorating porn magazine would call "retro" - but it's too shabby to be retro, it's just ugly. But it works; it's not a design feature, or a statement, it's that unconsidered thing that sits on our kitchen wall and dispenses hot water when you turn the tap on the bottom - if you have remembered to turn it on twenty minutes beforehand - just like it has done for the sixteen years I've been living here and, for all I know, for a couple of decades before that. For a couple of weeks now it's been dripping water from the bottom. Not a disaster as it's over the sink but it was annoying. Holly went back to school this morning after having been off for a week with the generic P1 lurgi and today was first chance I had to tackle fixing anything. I got Daisy off to school in the afternoon, set to, and started unscrewing things...

It's a bit like this but much uglier.

Isn't British design wonderful?

I know bugger all about plumbing and even less about electrics and so I have a healthy fear of both. But if I was designing a piece of kit that did involve both, and was to be used anywhere where gravity might be a consideration, I think I might have the wit to make sure that the place most likely to leak water wasn't right over the little junction box where the wires are all screwed in. Opening up the casing and watching water dripping off the live wire onto my nice stainless steel sink was an alarming start. This thing is insane. Water and electric come in (and out) at the bottom. There's no way any leak isn't going to fall onto electrics. My healthy fear being what it was, I had remembered to turn the thing off, remove the fuse, and write myself a note not to switch it on again before I started.
As it turned out, what I hoped was a 'take the plate off, tighten a nut, put the plate back on again' job ended up with me having more plumbing tools than I remember owning scattered around the kitchen and the whole geyser in bits in all the spaces between.

Then my phone went 'weebleweeebleweeble'.

Which meant it was time to go pick up the kids - and drive them to The Fort for their six-monthly, thirty-five second session with the dentist - and back again. We got to The Fort early and on the way to the dentists we dived into a charity shop which I knew had a huge pile of kids videos they were selling for pennies. I let them select one each to watch when they got home: "IF THEY WERE GOOD!" (the fact that they would get to watch them as soon as we got home just to keep them out of my hair for half an hour, even if they bit the nurse and set fire to the dentist, wasn't something I was going to tell them*).
An hour later as the kids crashed around upstairs destroying things while following the on-screen antics of the Barbie Dancercise Workout Video Holly had chosen (it had seemed like such a good idea at the time) I cooked a meal while simultaneously re-assembling the geyser and loading the dishwasher. The geyser worked and the food wasn't that horrible. To my eternal shame I had multi-tasked.

All of which is not disguising the fact that, during a diligent tidying up of the office the other day, I seem to have put away somewhere the notebook with all the gags I had worked up for a 10 minute play/thing I said I would write for Ilona and haven't. Yet. Another thing I haven't finished. I'll get round to it soon - and service a chainsaw at the same time.

*Dear, Future Holly and Future Daisy dudes - we lied. A lot.


Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm impressed. Last week I changed a simple ceiling light fitting for the first time, took about an hour and a half to do it, and was unreasonably proud of myself.

Phoebe said...

I'm afraid, dear boy, that all this means is just that deep down inside, you are a woman.

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