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Manly mates

February 19, 2021

If you’ve been following me for a while, you might remember I used to have a lovely neighbour, Cec, whom I dubbed Mr Fixit because he was always happy to pop over and help me with things that were beyond me. Sadly for me (and all their other friends on the island), Cec and his lovely wife Joyce upped sticks a few years ago and moved to the Sunshine Coast.

Now, I adore Cec and Joyce. I would have missed them even if it weren’t for the jobs he used to help me with, but his departure did leave that hole. I simply can’t afford to pay people (okay, let’s be honest, men) to do these jobs.

Faced with two of these jobs (a rotting porch and a pile of wood that needed chopping and stacking – including Arbutus), I decided a couple of years ago make an appeal: an email sent to various XY chromosome mates with the subject “Dear Manly Men”.

Bless them, four came through for me. Dave and Charlie rebuilt the downstairs porch and Joe and Paul came to help me with the wood chopping and stacking.

It is annoying for a woman (well, this woman anyway) to admit there are things I simply do not have the physical strength to do (or, in the case of rebuilding the porch, the tools and knowledge). Annoying, but true. So I know I’m lucky to have mates who, for a cup of tea and occasionally a freshly baked chocolate cake, will answer a distress call from me.

Could I stack two cords of wood in the shed all by myself? Yes, I could, but it would take me a very long time. A lot quicker if a couple of manly men were willing to pop over and help me.

Last summer a new manly man, Ray, joined the brotherhood when Joe and Dave came to help with the stacking.

Which brings me to my frozen pipes and one of those annoying jobs.

As reported last Saturday, after I crawled into the crawl space to switch the water source from the well to the cistern, some water began to flow out of the taps, but it wasn’t a flow, it was a trickle. Okay, I thought, there are rain water buckets to heat water on the woodstove and if they empty out I can always melt snow on the stove. Not the end of the world. It will warm up soon and the semi-frozen pipes will thaw out.

It started warming up on Monday, but the water was still trickling. I filled a dish bowl with hot water, put it in the bathtub and used that to rinse off shampoo and conditioner (which the trickle could not do). Still trickling on Tuesday when it occurred to me to go back to the crawl space, where I discovered the filters, which weren’t too bad on Friday night, now looked like this.

Holy crap! No wonder the water was a trickle.

This is one of those annoying jobs. If the filter holders have been screwed on tight enough to not leak, it is too tight for me to budge. Trust me, I’ve tried. And it does annoy the hell out of me that I am incapable of performing what should be a quick and easy task.

This is one of those jobs Mr Fixit used to do. In fact the last time the filters were changed was in September, the last time he visited.

There is some very good news (and not just on the odd job front): Cec and Joyce are moving back to the island this month! They will be here soon, but not until next week. Aside from not wanting to ask him a favour the second he’s back on the island, this water-trickling business really couldn’t wait a week.

I thought perhaps I could ask Joe to combine a walk with Georgie with stopping by here first the next day to change the filters. Unfortunately the next day he had to go to town. Having identified the problem, I really didn’t want any delay in getting it sorted.

Hmm, I thought, of all the manly men, Charlie lives closest. Might he be prevailed upon? Yes, he might!

The next morning, a nanosecond after I’d fetched the bucket and placed it under the filters, he’d unscrewed the first one. Fucking men and their fucking extra manly strength. (I actually said this to him and he did laugh.) Two minutes later the job was done. Two minutes after he left (having assured me he’d be happy to help out with this job any time) I hopped into a gloriously flowing shower.

Cursing aside, thank heavens for manly mates.

From → Blog

  1. janeshead permalink

    We need some of them here. There are many things Mariam and I have managed to do in this house (we’re especially proud of the sump pump) but there are many things we just don’t have the…yeah, strength, and tools, and knowledge to do. If any of your manly men want to take a wee trip out to Montreal whenever the pandemic lets up, there’s a deck needs urgent replacement (and spare bedrooms aplenty!)

  2. krysross permalink

    That strength difference galls me, too. Until Roma came along when I was nine, I was the only girl in our extended family of 6 kids–with four of the boys older. They took no quarter. Whenever Glenn innocently suggests some physical job would be good exercise for me, I want to hit him with a shovel.

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