Saturday, 28 July 2012
Dad, Carpenter, August 22nd 2007
My dad’s current project is to build himself a frame upon which to mount a blind which will work on the sloping window in his bedroom so that he can see his computer screen a bit better. This really is a relative term as his field of vision is scarcely bigger than a pinhead and at 90 years old he is completely bent over - the result of a lifetime of misusing his back. He also can’t hear. These problems do not defeat him however and pride dictates that he will only ask for help as a last resort. The trick is to listen to his sighs of frustration and not say anything. An offer of help usually results in a point blank denial of need. So yesterday in extremis, I was finally asked to assist. My instructions were to take up a tiny yellow paintbrush, gleaned from a long-forgotten children’s paintbox in the depths of his cupboard and to push it through the holes in the two brackets he had made so as to mark on the wall the places for the rawl bolts. My father meanwhile, balanced precariously on the steps holding up his wooden frame against the aperture. A day later it seems that the holes are in the wrong places because the frame is actually warped. Undeterred, (really happy to find an additional challenge!), dad has now taken the frame to pieces again, dipped it in water, plannning to bend it straight again after a few days. Luckily, time is not an issue. Most of his tools resemble the ones in this picture. Dad likes old things and things that make a job difficult, such as trying to do the things he could do with ease before he was deaf and 98% blind.