About a year ago, Theresa May, when discussing domestic arrangements at Number 10 Downing Street, mentioned that Philip (her husband) did the boys’ jobs, like taking out the rubbish. In these emancipated times, there should be no boys’ jobs and girls’ jobs, but, as we all know, the reality is different.
My husband is currently away from home, visiting his mother, so, at midnight last night, I found out about one particular boys’ job I’ve always evaded. I was on my way to bed. I’m switching off the hall light downstairs and flicking the switch for the landing light, but, Dear Reader, upstairs remains in darkness, however many times I press the switch up and down. I grope my way up to the bedroom, where I observe the mains-powered alarm clock functioning normally.
Oh, I think. Oh.
I can diagnose the problem, but my normal solution is to get my husband to deal with it. The job involves a trip out into the Arctic (otherwise known as the garage), a stepladder and peering into a fuse box, with a torch. A little girl like me can’t be expected to tackle such things.
But there’s no one but me.
I consider leaving the job until morning…
But, Dear Reader, if something’s got to be done, it might as well be done now. I take a deep breath. I pick up the big torch in the hall and press the button. Nothing. (Thank you, Grandson. I suspect that’s you. Switching on Grandpa’s torch and aiming the light face downwards on the desk seems to amuse you. You forget about it and leave it like that.) What sort of batteries do I need? Where are the spare batteries? I sort of know, but I can’t be bothered to start searching at twelve o five. Hang on, he’s got another torch, on top of his hifi. (Where else?) It’s not as big, but it will do.
I unlock the garage door. The blast of icy air can’t be good for me; I’m nursing a chest infection. I switch on the light. Silly me! Why all that bother over torches? I can see perfectly well with the normal electric light. I do have to find the stepladder and climb up it though. I look into the fuse box.
One switch down…
Well, that’s one switch up now. Suddenly the upstairs landing is bathed in yellow light. Alleluia. Anything you can do, dear, I can do too.
- Put out the rubbish as well as any PM’s husband (black bin and recycling).
- Prepare a log fire and even light it.
- Hoover, even the bits which involve moving furniture.
- I can do most of what I need to do on computers, iPads, iPhones or whatever, but I can’t manage television or DVD player. This is not a problem for me, as I don’t watch television, although it can be when grandchildren are demanding Milkshake and we’ve got CeeBeebies on.
But, I must confess, I can’t change a wheel, or do any maintenance on my car. For that, I have to go to the local garage and ask the GIRL who works there.