Things He Can Do
Barry has also always been a very active and busy being so being forced to slow down is frustrating in the extreme. It is temporary (we all fervently hope!) while his new knee beds in or whatever it is that total knee replacements do. Meanwhile he cannot do much to help in the house. Some might suggest that nothing has changed there but that would be unkind, untrue, even . . . (insert ‘wink’ emoticon)
However, there have been a number of events which have boosted his sense of self-worth. For instance, he has removed a large spider from the bath, something neither Susannah nor I were able to do and which the cats, usually so dexterous and efficient, could not be persuaded to tackle.
Another accomplishment was the opening of a particularly stubborn bottle followed soon after by the pumping up of bicycle tyres. Add to this the fixing of apps on my computer and programming the remote control (one of them, at least. We have many, many, many remote control devices.) Buoyed up by these achievements Barry then updated the computerisation of the garden watering system. This means that at intervals during the day (and night) various sprinklers and drip-feeds are activated. It can be quite exciting for the cats when they’re caught unawares, and it’s fun for us, cruel as we are, to watch them galloping towards the shelter of the house, their customary grace and elegance and self-assurance momentarily abandoned.
Barry has also been able to traverse the length of the garden to check the water quality in the swimming pool, something I have no idea about. Doubtless I could learn but, like the State of the Art Coffee Machine in the kitchen, I shall not be hastening to acquire the expertise. I like making coffee in a bog standard cafetière. It’s simple and satisfying. The State of the Art Coffee Machine, however, hisses and steams and drips and demands as much attention as a sulky toddler – actually, more, for it requires regular filling and emptying and cleaning. All right, then, it’s just like a toddler. I don’t like coffee – love the smell, can’t stand the taste, so I really don’t want to know how to operate the State of the Art Coffee Machine. I digress.
The final thing on the list of Things He Can Do is to have his Leatherman all-purpose tool ready at all times, for all eventualities. Well, not burst pipes, obviously, or rewiring the house, but minor things like tightening screws, opening boxes, getting stones out of horses’ hooves . . .
He wanted to add to the list ‘research items to contribute to the general clutter’, otherwise known as ‘looking for things you don’t really need but it would be fun to have’, but he does that all the time anyway, new knees or not.
The Leatherman is the grown-up version of the Swiss Army Knife, much loved of Boy Scouts or whatever they’re called these days. Actually, I think it’s an American version of said knife. I have a smaller version, which lives in a small coin case in my bag.
I find it extremely useful but then, I think I’m becoming Mrs Gadget. My son’s school friends used to refer to Barry as Inspector Gadget. It was only a matter of time, I suppose, before I succumbed to the attraction of gadgets.