Columnist: More DIY SOS than Bob the Builder...

Paul McCabe discusses his lack of design skills
Paul McCabe discusses his lack of design skills

So there I was happily minding my own business.

It was Friday night and after a quick change and dash from FFP Towers I was sat in a bar on Gorgie Road, pint in hand by 6.20pm ahead of the Hearts v Aberdeen match.

The perfect crime.

A text came through from Mrs M to tell me that our new settee was arriving on Tuesday.

Fine, thought I, and responded so. It’s coming sooner than we’d expected and probably not before time. Our current sofa was purchased when the rug rats were five and three years old. Needless to say it’s taking a bit of a pasting over the last few years.

Another text pinged onto my phone, just as the merits and faults of the Hearts line-up were being keenly and expertly analysed by my table of pub experts.

“The thing is I was wanting to paint the living room before it arrived....” What? Wait. Hang on. “...so we’re probably going to have to do it tomorrow.”

Oh, in the name of.....NOOOO!!

At that moment, had it not been for the prospect of the upcoming match, I may have gone out and thrown myself under an LRT bus.

I cannot state this firmly enough - I loathe, abhor and detest the unimaginable and unrelenting horror that is DIY. All of it, in all its vile and hateful, spirit-draining forms.

Painting, fixing, hanging, wallpapering, screwing (behave), hammering, sawing or anything else that falls under that particular umbrella of utter misery.

I can’t change a plug and have no idea about, and absolutely no interest in, the workings of a car engine.

Our toolbox and everything in it actually belongs to Mrs M. Fair to say if there’s any household chores needing done, I’m definitely NOT yer man.

Game over, victory secured, post-game celebrations curtailed, I began the trip back home desperately trying not to let Saturday’s day of looming dread spoil my buoyant mood, But it was there, gnawing away.

And so it began. Living room contents emptied to the four corners of the house, which disturbs unexpected little piles of dust here and there which need cleared up, windows and back door opened ensuring that we’re cold, minging old decorating clothes and newspaper and sheets scattered everywhere. It’s already gone lunchtime and we haven’t even started.

Man, this is fun.

To be fair to Mrs M, who wasn’t particularly enjoying herself either, I tried to keep the moaning and sighing deeply to a minimum, though did have a bit of a strop halfway through the second coat. Personally I thought my restraint up to that point had been positively heroic.

Anyway, now that it’s all done and dusted - literally - it does look rather good, with the exception of one bit, where someone had left drips that they hadn’t noticed to dry in, tried to sandpaper them off, failed, so got a knife to try and pick them off and ripped right through to the plaster, so then attempted to patch it up with Polyfilla, but didn’t do it properly.

Guess who?