Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Literally Curtains

I have a problem with any element of home improvement/DIY, being as it often involves measuring, which is a mostly reality-based procedure, and therefore something I have great difficulty with.

I tried to measure up and purchase a curtain pole/curtain combo before, and the procedure went like this:

1. Carefully measure width of window.
2. Go to DIY place, realise I have left measurement behind.
3. Guess approximate length of curtain pole I will need.
4. Get home, realise I have bought, essentially, a small piece of kindling. And no curtains.
5. Return to DIY store, with measurements this time, buy much longer curtain pole and strangely short curtains.
6. Get home, realise I have measured width in inches, length in centimetres.
7. Realise that I also wrote down the inches as centremetres, and the centimetres in inches.
8. Buy blind instead.

Yesterday I went into daughter's room, pulled on the blind cord (don't worry, the cord is securely hooked up so no-one other than me can get tangled on it, I watch the CBeebies thing about alpaca health and safety inspectors, it's bloody good actually) and the whole thing collapsed.

After some time spent looking one of our eight tape measures (if I can't find the piece of technical equipment I need immediately, I go and buy another one, hence our home's collection of one thousand Phillips head screwdrivers, I might build an ossuary out of them one day, like that one in Greece, although I'm not sure how I'll fix them into the wall, think about it) I measure up the window. This time I am very careful to use centimetres.

We go to Falmouth's premiere Europhobe bargain department store (no European commissioners are hanging in effigy near the entrance this time, which is nice) and Patroclus buys some curtains. And linings. We have a curtain pole from the last time it all went wrong. I don't know what happened to the curtains.

One the way home in the car:

ME: (quietly) I was in the wrong room.

Indeed. What I had done is walk out of my daughter's room, go downstairs, find the tape measure, go back upstairs into my son's room, and measure the window there. IF YOU SAW THIS IN A SITCOM YOU WOULD SNORT IN DISGUST AND TURN IT OFF.

Anyway, it turned out that despite son's window being half the size of daughter's window, Patroclus had panicked and bought curtains that were way too big, and in fact our combined problems with reality/being outside/doing things had cancelled each other out and it was all fine. THIS IS WHY MARRIAGE WORKS, PEOPLE.

Anyway, I then found a spare bit from the last broken blind that I had carefully put in my man-drawer and thus was exactly the bit I needed (in your FACE McIntyre) so I could in fact mend the original blind, which is now back up until it falls down again, at which point we have all the stuff we need to put the new curtains up, although it looks like I might need a new Phillips head screwdriver.


Lucy V said...

OMG reality based procedures are such a bitch!!! I have issues with all things REAL, including driving a car, which is why I married a scientist - I COULD LITERALLY NOT SURVIVE OTHERWISE. On the flipside, he gets to think about unicorns and werewolves and stuff which apparently he never did before. It's a fair trade.

James Henry said...

This is totally my argument. Before marrying me, Patroclus ha never even USED the words 'paladin' or 'owlbear'? Can you imagine?

LC said...

You need one of these.

If the answer isn't "lasers" you're asking the wrong question.

James Henry said...


Rosie said...

Don't talk to me about curtains. I had been waiting six years because I can't reach, not even from the ladder. Voila! Finally! It's up, pole, rings, curtain.
Next day I open it to let in bountiful light and the whole lot falls off the wall.
I hate curtains...and blinds.

Benjamin Russell said...

Ooh, screwdriver comedy callback in the last sentence... it's like a Dave Barry column!

Also, I'm not sure I'd recommend laser tape measures. If you maintain household protocols, that will mean you'll end up buying umpteen laser tape measures as well, which will either result in local homeland security bursting in and accusing you of stockpiling weaponry, or some sort of accidental measuring- tape-based artificial intelligence trying to kill Sarah Connor.

James Henry said...

But, but... it's LASERS!

LC said...

There's no turning back, the laser-powered DIY apocalypse is already upon us.

Tim Footman said...

“Falmouth's premiere Europhobe bargain department store...”

You don’t mean T***o M***s is still going? Are their press ads still completely fucking mental?

James Henry said...

Yes. And very much so.

Smat said...

that shop is almost my sole reason for visiting Cornwall. I've been looking forward to it for months now. [am officially sad]]

Marsha Klein said...

I must be sad too, Smat - I got ridiculously excited when I realised I'd been to the Indian Queens branch of that shop...