A number of years ago, shortly after graduating from University with a degree in Music, I went out and bought a house.   It wasn’t a very big house, and there is nothing remotely remarkable about this statement.  But at the time it was mine and this was very pleasing.

Being a brand new house, it was a totally clean canvas for me to make a start in ‘the real world’.  I had emerged from the world of education and was now embracing this thing called work.  For me, initially this meant working in London in a job I didn’t much like but was nevertheless reasonably well paid and came with a free car.  This was also very exciting especially when you are 21.   Of course I hasten to add this was the 90s where everyone was given a car with a job as a matter of course.

So having sorted myself out a job and a house (and a wife but that’s a whole other story!) I set about decorating my new house and added some colour.   I then figured that i should probably put up some curtains.  Of course up to this point in life I had never done anything remotely that might be classed as DIY.  But no matter, I had seen other people do such things and, lets face it, pretty much every house has curtains or blinds hanging at the windows. So how hard can it be?

One Saturday morning I wandered into town and purchased some curtains and a curtain rail.  On getting them home I had a quick look at the instructions and, for about the only time in my life, actually read them and noted that ‘if you have plasterboard walls you need to use a specific type of rawl plug’.    So i went back out to the local DIY merchant and presented myself to the customer help desk. I explained that I had one of these new cardboard houses and i wanted to attach something to the wall.   This didn’t seem to be an issue and moments later I was issued with a packet of metal things and was told all i had to do was make a hole in the wall, stick in the metal thing and then screw my curtain rail onto the wall.

Feeling extremely proud of myself for researching this and therefore deeming myself an expert in all matters pertaining to building works and structural engineering, I went home and unpacked my brand new Bosch Drill.   I then remember my Father telling something about ‘measure twice cut once…’ I wasn’t exactly sure what i was supposed to be cutting, but did get a tape measure out and measured some random points on the wall, marking carefully with a pencil where i was going to make an insertion with the drill.

Everything was going extremely well….

That was, right up until the point the end of the drill touched the wall…  There was a sort of graunching sound then a cracking sound and then moments later a very large cavern appeared which seemed to go from the floor to the ceiling.

An hour or so later a qualified builder explained to me that these things happen and I shouldn’t feel too bad about it. Apparently it wasn’t the worst he had seen…  I ignored the fact he seemed to be sniggering and his shoulders were shaking as he spoke to me and hoped he wasn’t having some kind of fit.   In fact he was a very nice chap and a few hours later had entirely rebuilt my lounge wall and attached a curtain pole in the appropriate place above the window.

The lesson I learnt from this experience is that if you want a job doing properly, employ a professional.  Most importantly do not be presumptuous enough to assume that just because you have seen someone else do something and made it look easy, that you can do that same thing yourself.

Jules Addison studied music at University (twice) and has grade 8 with distinction on 2 instruments.   Despite this he still can’t operate a drill.   But if you need help runinng or recording your choir, then he might be useful.

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