“But you never finish anything!” she wailed.

“But at least I start them!” I countered, defensively.

This cycle of conversation had gone on for at least six turns. I made a mental note to add ‘Relate’ to my BT Friends and Family.

“It’s one tiny little bit of varnishing! It’ll take you – what – ten minutes?

I explained that although that was probably accurate, I couldn’t attempt the varnishing until I’d planed off a tiny corner of wood, to ensure that the cupboard shut properly. What’s more, I’d got out the big tin of varnish, a paintbrush and the plane a week previously to ensure that I was prepared for the job. That was why they’d been sitting in the middle of the lounge.

Silence crashed amongst us like nuclear explosions.

Ill-advisedly, I felt the need to speak.

“Besides, I had to get on with the architrave round the loft hatch.”

She goggled at me, thunderstruck, like a Nazgul who’d just been presented with a large demand from the Child Support Agency.

“And look at it!!!”

I was affronted by her tone. Architraving is very difficult to do, as you have to join four bits of wood together exactly right, like a picture frame. That was why I’d only attempted one bit, but I’d nailed it up there, all perfectly nicely.

Sometimes she treats me like Frank Spencer. I do not deserve this, but I love her very much so I make allowances for her DIY fascism.

What she does not realise is that a lot of the job is in the planning. And I had been planning to finish both jobs for some time.

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