10th June 2021 – Dad & DIY

Contains some strong language.

There was a joke to be had yesterday, and I contemplated calling today’s post “my sexiest toy” instead. I knew that that would lure people in. People would anticipate me, a BDSM blogger, to be writing about all of the toys to do with BDSM. Alas, not today.

To me, my sexiest toy is this, my Bit 360 screwdriver (unaffiliated link):

It looks pretty basic, but it works a little like a revolver and with a simple up, twist and down motion, you can change the head of the screwdriver and keep the others stored away for safe keeps – it’s pretty genius like that! Oh sure, there are jokes to be had about it being used so much that I’ve unsheathed it from its rubber grip, or that I like my screwdrivers circumcised, or even about the pull-and-twist method used to change the bits, but we’re all mature, sensible adults here, aren’t we? Aren’t we?

“I have something to show you, too” I said to Dad as I darted off to fetch my new joy. I thrust it into his hand and grinned. “Seen one like that before?”

“Eh? It’s a screwdriver” Dad replied.

“Yes, but…” I said, taking it from him and demonstrating the pull-and-twist mechanism, “now it’s a Phillips, not a flathead.”

“Oh aye, that’s not bad, is it? Where did you get that one to?”

Dad was the classic stoic gentleman, a south Bristol man, and his ‘not bad’ was somebody else’s ‘absolutely fucking brilliant’. If Dad said something was not bad, secretly, we knew that he liked it, and so when he gave my screwdriver a ‘not bad’ review and asked me where I got it, I knew exactly what I had to do. Dad’s’not bad’ was even something that we joked about after the funeral, a small sticking plaster over a rather gaping wound. We smiled and laughed through the tears that came with remembering those precious moments; rainbows, rain and all.

DIY was something that was sacred to me, and I still remember the first thing I ever made with Dad; a small wooden helicopter, made from a few scrap pieces of wood. If you pushed hard enough, the rotor would turn – just about.

“Mind me thumb!” Dad shouted as I missed the pin and landed the four-ounce head atop his vulnerable digit.

“Right, I’ll do the hammering, Boos. You’re bloody dangerous with that thing” he teased.

At the time, I know that I took that comment to heart, and yet looking back now, it was just Dad. It was Dad being Dad, being his playful self.

“Right, we’re gonna build a computer desk. You helping?”. I didn’t really have a choice. It wasn’t whether or not I wanted to help assemble the desk, it was that I had things to learn.

“Right, lay out all the bits. Look, that one’s a different length. Make sure you sort them out so we don’t make any mistakes” he said, helping me sort through the various screws. “Do we have all the bits? Right, good.”

I still remember laying on the wooden dining room floor, but I didn’t care. I was learning, and moreover, I was doing something with Dad. I loved arts and crafts and baking with Mum, but DIY with Dad was just as special, and fun. I also remember the fixed seating that we had in the dining room, that Dad made, and I so wish that if I get my desired conservatory, I can have something like it out there. Each seat lifted to reveal a storage compartment, and each was filled with various delights: Folding spare chairs for when we entertained, tablecloths of various patterns for different events, board games – lots and lots of board games. Thanks A Million was my favourite, but then, I’ve always been competitive like that.

“Right, what’s the first step? Read the instructions. What bits do you need?”

“One of those” younger me said hesitantly, holding up the peculiar looking piece.

“A cam lock nut, right” Dad said.

A cam lock nut, noted. 

It took me a time, but within an hour or two, we had a desk put together.

“You did that, and I hardly had to help you at all” Dad said, rather proudly. I shrugged, it was a breeze. But after that, something clicked in me.

“Dad, can I help?”

“Dad, can I put this together, please?”

Before too long, Dad didn’t get a looking but with that, Dad also knew that he could make use of me.

“I need a 600 mil and a 300 mil wall unit put together while I’m out. Could you get it done. please?”

“Roger that, boss” teenage me would say casually.

“Booboos, don’t be cheeky”. I’d wink, I knew where to cap it.

Even into adulthood, DIY was something that stuck with me, and even in my own home, I’m the one that does all of the DIY. Dad taught me how to do filler work, how to use expanding foam, how to tile, how to fit a wall plug. how to change a fuse and more. He taught me how to use a spirit level, a set square, a protractor. He taught me the difference between a handsaw and a tenon saw, and how to use a circular saw without cutting my hand off. By the time I entered woodwork class in Year Nine, I practically knew it all.

Computers, however, were the one that I struggled with.

“What’s this? Booboos, you’ve done it again! This isn’t a computer!”

Oh shit, what have I done?

“Look love, our daughter’s made a bloody vacuum” Dad teased, Mum burst out laughing.

“What did I do?” I asked hesitantly.

“You reversed the fans – all four of ’em! It’s s’posed to blow air out, not suck it in!” Dad said as he undid my handiwork, “your mother’s already got a vacuum, she don’t want another one.”

I still enjoy DIY, and even if it takes me four times as long because of my RSD, I refuse to give in. I drop the screwdriver often because my hand gives up but, to completely nerd out right here, failure is not an option

As I prepared for bed last night, I told myself that writing about Dad was going to hurt. I knew that looking back on some of the memories – the funny ones as well as the painful ones – wouldn’t be an easy process, but that it had to be done. When it comes to major wounds, you can put a sticking plaster over it as much as you want to, but a sticking plaster won’t stop a serious bleed. Sooner or later, you have to be brave enough to peel off the plaster and properly close up the wound. I smiled weakly as the tears threatened, I knew exactly who I was listening to.

“Alright, old man. I suppose you’re right, as usual” I whispered.

“Less of the old, Booboos” he said.

The Story Behind My Nickame

Reading this post, perhaps you’re wondering why my Dad called me “Booboos”. Booboos was his own nickname for me, and it is sacred to him and me, in life and after death. When I was born, I spent my first ten days in the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU), battling pneumonia, influenza and sepsis. Truthfully, doctors didn’t think that I would make it, but here I am. Because of that, my Dad nicknamed me Boo, or Booboos, from the ‘BU’ part of SCBU. II was always Booboos to him, and I will always be his Booboos.

6 thoughts on “10th June 2021 – Dad & DIY

  1. Thank you for sharing those precious memories of your father with us. It must have been nice to have something like DIY to bond over, something that brought you closer together. He sounded like a man with a lot of personality, I’m sure that he’d be honoured that you’re keeping him alive in this way. I guess I’m still searching for that one thing to have with my father, hopefully one day I’ll find it.

    1. Thank you, Dad is with me always, I’m just struggling to make that connection from the physical to the spiritual. I’m sure you will find it one day. Usually, these connections are the small things that we don’t notice, but are a part of them and we miss once they are gone. When I lost my last dog, I didn’t really feel it until I dropped some food on the floor and it just stayed there, whereas he would have had it gone in a flash. Obviously, I’m not comparing your Dad to a dog, but I’m sure you understand my point.

    1. Absolutely, like my mother, even though she really annoys me sometimes, we can also come to exactly the same conclusion on a lot of other things. It’s almost frightening sometimes.

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