We have to fit some skirting board.

In order to make it join together at the corners, you have to make what is technically (in the Reader’s Digest DIY manual) known as a ‘mitre joint’.

A mitre joint is basically a wonky cut. However, rather than just your normal bog standard wonky cut that you’d make anyway, this needs to be quite accurately wonky. What’s more you need to cut the other bit of wood with exactly the opposite degree of wonkiness, then they fit together at a snug ninety degrees.

For reasons of equality, the LTLP attempts this whilst I sit down to watch the cricket.

At the next wicket, I wander out to see how she’s getting on.

“Youuuu make me feeeel,” I sing, “Mitre real!!!”

How we roared.

There is a certain amount of wastage occurring. I make some helpful comments, which are not received in good spirit. It looks like we might need a special tool.

“Well we haven’t got one,” I venture, “…but Big A ‘mitre’!” (might – er)

She smiles weakly and stomps off round the corner.

Big A has lots of tools, all dating from the seventeenth century. Indeed he does possess a mitre block. Its interest is possibly more archaeological than practical, but she borrows it anyway.

On her way back she passes Wallace’s place. As usual, he is inventing in his garden. He looks bemused at the mitre block, disappears into his shed and reappears with a huge great electrical whirry thing.

This is great. You set an angle on the dial, put a piece of wood on the surface and then big whirling blades of death chomp down and cut a perfect mitre joint for you. Suddenly, I want to have a go.

I am not allowed, even though she is now struggling on working out the angles. More wastage is occurring.

“Is it lunchtime yet?” I ask. “I’m ‘mitre’ hungry!”

An offcut sails past my head.

Time taken: two hours.

Pieces of wood cut: two.

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