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Thursday, 1 May 2014

The Delights of Being a MAN (part 1)

On a previous post, I commented (at probably too great a length) on some of the differences between ourselves and our lovely ladies.

I like being a bloke.

I enjoy wrestling with problems in an attempt to find a solution.

Problem = Solution.  It's how blokes are made.

It probably goes all the way back to the hunter-gather origins of our species/society, where the bloke (large, muscular and probably smelly) prowls through the dangerous jungle in search of prey.

See me?  Good at camouflage aren't I?

Each step taken with the senses completely alert, each clue assimilated,  using the mighty powers of his logical mind to work out dangers and opportunities.

Comes in very handy whilst teaching a class of semi-feral 14 year olds, when you need every sense fully operational to pick up the little signs of impending doom.

The devious chuckle under the breath.
The little note passed to a neighbour.
The glazed eyes and vacant expression of the eternally stoned (bit difficult sometimes to spot the difference between the eternally thick.)

SIT DOWN you bunch of little bastards

But I enjoy the challenge, as do most good teachers.

But back to the differences.

I like solving problems.  So when my beloved offers me the opportunity to exhibit my mighty powers of deduction and solution creation I am pleased.

For example, just last week, my Beloved noted that she was finding it difficult to hang out our newly washed clothes on our rotary drier and the alternative clothes lines under the roof of our back deck.

I was almost prepared.

I had my workshop ready.

Almost enough tools in my wee workshop

Just a few more.  Just in case.  One can never have enough tools, especially power tools.

I sprang into action.

Not me obviously, but she's very pretty

I removed the rotary drier from its concrete foundation, used a metal grinder to remove about 50cm from the length of the pole, ground the edges smooth, primed and painted the edges, reset it into its foundation and finished the job by lubricating the swivel so it turned easily.

Too high?  I fix.

Then I leaped into the next phase.  The clothes lines were too high, and my beloved (I knew) was finding it difficult to reach up to hang the clothes, and she preferred ( I knew) the way she had hung the clothes in Singapore, on rigid bamboo poles.

Bamboo poles of the dimensions available in Singapore are difficult to get down here in sunny New Zealand, so my problem solving mind went into overdrive.  I carefully measured all of the dimensions, raced down to the local hardware supermarket and after browsing the sections on wood mouldings and plumbing (why is it that blokes always enjoy browsing these areas.  Walking up and down the isles, examining all of the available  materials, gadgets and tools, until the solution to the problem (and often some other problem that you didn't even know we had) presented itself.  See.  problem solving again)

Now if I could only find a left-handed widget clamp

I had the solution.

I bought many long wooden poles, plastic plumbing joints, glue, sandpaper, tins of primer, undercoat, waterproof topcoat, plumbing brackets, stainless steel screws, a new screw bit and a really lovely complete set of drill bits that I didn't really need, but were too lovely to ignore.

Drool.  Admit it.  They're lovely

Back home, a frenzy of cutting, sanding, painting, gluing (and long periods of standing back and admiring my work) resulted in the finished article.  Perfectly finished poles, fixed to the right height for my beloved, situated under the transparent roof of our deck, ready to accept the newly laundered clothes from my Beloved's precious hands.

Note the cunning piece of parachute cord, used for the carefully crafted extra support.

I called to my beloved to share the wondrous beauties I had created.  I took her little hand and led her to the rotary drier, illustrating with boyish enthusiasm the care I had taken to alter it to her needs.

Note the perfect joint between two pieces of dowelling (poles) using plastic plumbing fixture

Then I led her over to the newly finished clothes-hanging poles, gleaming brilliantly with their pristine finish under the glorious New Zealand sun ( which apart from glowing like a golden orb in the cerulean sky generates more UV radiation than one of Herr Teller's demonic creations, and can strip paint and skin with equal abandon). 

I pointed out each carefully finished feature of my creation, and finished with a flourish, saying "I did what you desired, my loveliness"  "It's all ready for you now."  and stood back, my head humbly bowed, awaiting my due praise.

I'm humble.  Just tell me I'm great and awesome.


Not a bloody word.

I looked up and saw her face.

It had a look I had seen before.

A look which shook the very foundations of my soul.

It was the "You have f*cked up again look"

Not so much IF you have f*cked up, but when.

(I could itemise the many times I had received that look, but time is finite, and a 76 page post would put many people off from reading this humble blog, so I won't)

"What is it O delight of my eye?" I said.

There was a long silence.

"Well" she said, "All I meant was that you should hang up the clothes"

Oh bugger me backwards with a bluebottle on a broomstick

Men solve problems.

I'm solving mine right now with a large glass of whisky (and a cigar)

Actually there is another reason I like being a bloke.

It means I can wear socks like these. 

One of my colleagues did say that she thought them a wee bit unprofessional, but I wasn't exactly exposing them for all to see, just the ankle fetishists amongst staff and pupils.

But I really don't care.  Because my lovely daughter gave them to me as a Birthday present, and no power on the damned earth will stop me wearing them. Including of course the PC Nazis. (For some reason, I seem to have a lot of conflict with those bastards.  I wonder why?)

My lovely daughter (often referred to by me as My Wee Dear) also sent me these socks, which I even wear with shorts (so everyone can see them)

It's good being a Bloke.


  1. That's just too funny. I'm sure she appreciated all the work you did though. The socks are just too funny. You're in New Zealand? I have another blogging friend who lives there too.

    1. Hi again Mary, glad you liked it. I do realise there's a difference between the two??? sexes, and i wouldn't have it any other way. otherwise life could well become boring.

      Yep, we moved down here to NZ from Scotland about 11 years ago.

      Who's the other blogger?

      Not Richard (of RBB) I bloody hope?

    2. No, her name is Shelley Munro, she's a romance author.

  2. Yes, this sort of problem-solving behaviour has been hard-wired into hominid DNA since Homo Erectus first appeared on Earth. Not being raised in caveman family, your wife didn't realise that when her husband makes something she's supposed to dance around it like a Maypole. Have you tried putting your fist inside that sock and making the jubblies wobble?

    1. Thanks for bei ng so understanding Oh Simian one. Maybe I should try a course of education, but where could i get a big enough stick?

      I have tried the fist in the sock, and yes, they do wobble nicely.

  3. I don't know how to fix jack-all. My father was useless and after leaving home I spent all my years in apartments. If something needed fixing, you call the superintendent and it's fixed when you get home from work. I never learned a thing. I'd still rather be a man, though. Women have it tough. Men are always trying to keep them down.

    These posts now unspool in my mind with your voice. So thanks for the brief audio clip in the last post.

    1. I didn't know how to do anything when I left school, but sheer necessity and a very good DIY book was my salvation.

      Never lived in the US style apartment, so never had a super to fall back on.

      I don't know that I'd agree with the statement about Men trying to keep women down... trying to get them to stop spending money; now that, I most certainly would agree with.

      Try to imagine me doing a Highland Fling whilst I'm typing.

  4. I hope that she at least had the decency to find something to do with your pole. Oh, dear, that came out sounding a bit wrong.

    My solution to practical problems is magic. I wave my hands and wait for something that will solve the problem.

    1. Jenny, there's always something to do with a pole.

      It probably involves Warsaw.

      Funnily enough, the method of solving problems by waving your hands at it also works for our Principal.

      He waves his hands, and the Senior Managers (me included) sort out the problem.


  5. Love your socks! Continue to be proud to wear them! My hubby also loves to fix things. It seems his purpose in life. I also like to fix things but being a bit clumsy I am probably more successful in breaking things (apart from computers, people and animals).

    1. Thank you, I love them as well.

      Don't sell yourself short. You're a LOT better at breaking thngs

  6. Research shows that 1 out of 2 people in every relationship will have to deal with a crazy woman.....

  7. Research shows that 1 out of 2 people in every relationship will have to deal with a crazy woman.....

    1. Indeed.

      Does this craziness extend to posting twice?

      But blokes are always ready for a relationship with a crazy person, we've all had Mums, haven't we.

      Except for Ringo. I'm convinced he was bred by fission, like all bacteria.

  8. You'd barely started your careful step by step instructions when I realised what it was your dear wife was trying to tell you. . . Why is it (I ask myself) that women never ever ask a direct question? Why must they stuff about with broad hints that could mean any damn thing. .

    1. I really have no idea.

      The lovely things find it nearly impossible to ask a direct question. Not at least one we can answer.

      "Is my bum fat in this?" is one of those impossibles. You're buggered if you do, and buggered if you don't.

      C'est la vie.

  9. So it's all men who browse in hardware stores? I thought it was just my husband. He walks down every aisle just to see if there's something he might need which he didn't know he needed! It's torture for me - watching him read the labels and mull them over. Too much mulling for my liking.
    He isn't as good as you at making things with wood, though. I am so impressed.

    1. I think it's in our genes.
      And we're not mulling.

      We're looking at each item and the possible uses to which we might want to put it. Most times, for a purpose the manufacturer never even dreamed about.

      We're dreaming really.

      Thanks for the comment about wood. It's always been a hobby. I built my own kitchen from scratch, including designing and making the cabinets.

      When I retire, I'm going to take up wood turning.

    2. Change "hardware store" for "clothes shop" and you've got the misery that is accompanying a woman shopping.

    3. You said it.
      My favourite shops have nice little "man-chairs" for the terminally bored to expire upon.

  10. Neither Kevin nor I can even change a light bulbs so you're light years ahead of us.

  11. What?

    A good Kiwi girl that can't change a light bulb?

    Ever tried using number 8 wire?

  12. Is the entire misunderstanding a by-product of being from Glasgow? ARE you from Glasgow? I need help with bluebottle on a broomstick. Thank you.

    1. Yes, I am from Glasgow, well Coatdyke actualy.

      The blubottle thing originated (partly) from my Dad, who used the word bluebottle when he hit his thumb with a hammer (he was not a skilled artisan) he used to shout either "I'll be a blue-assed fly" or if in extremis, "Oh Bluebottle"

      Apart from that it's alliterative, so it must be good.

    2. I was hoping to impress my long distance Glaswegian boyfriend with the serial b's of your image but now suspect he has a humour problem while I merely have a problem with his accent, hardly understanding a thing he says without an interpreter. Nonetheless, a full-blown affair is a possibility. Have to say, there's something about "blue-assed fly" that makes me think yr Dad crossed paths with someone from Tennessee.

    3. I'm not sure about the blue-assed fly. It could have been due to my Mum, who would not allow "bad language" in the house.

      I would suggest that the best type of Glaswegian boyfriend is the long-distance type.

      They are much less expensive and less violent.

      If my Dad was ever in Tennessee it was news to me. Mind you, he always has a thing about "grits"?

      Mind you, I always he was just pronouncing "girls" badly.

  13. I'm very impressed. I once failed to fit an ironing board cover. However, I am one of the UK's foremost experts on the sexual psychogeography of loganberry production in Schleswig-Holstein, and that'll come in handy one day.

    Given the somewhat unappreciative tone of your beloved's response to your magnificent efforts, I would be inclined, next time, to suggest a couple of locales in which she can shove bamboo sticks.

    However I'm sure your deep abiding love for her, and more importantly, for wandering around DIY shops, will overcome such impulses.

    1. I really hate to tell you this, but loganberries do not grow in Schleswig-Holstein, cannot grow in Schleswig-Holstein, and are unknown on Schleswig-Holstein as is Schleswig-Holstein in the present socio-economic environment.

      They do however grow quite well in Perthshire.

      Bamboo sticks are probably contra-indicated. She has more experience in placement than I do.

      I applaud your naive innocence.

  14. They never make it clear do they? ;-)

    1. No. No, they don't. I think they get training at a very young age.


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