Our shed needs fixing. I’ve done the easy bit: I’ve bought ten square metres of felt and some things called clout nails which sound terribly exciting. I’ve even got felt glue, or maybe it’s felt sealant. Whatever: it goes between the two metre-wide strips I’ll need to cut, like the filthy filling in a disgusting building-material sandwich.
Now comes the hard part, and frankly it’s exposed a chink in my social armour. This is a two-man job, and I don’t think I know anyone “handy” enough (in all sorts of meanings of the word) who could help to re-roof a shed, or at least know them well enough to ask them to do so for e.g. the price of a hot dinner and some beer. That’s not intended to be an insult to my nearest and dearest, as I certainly would never expect anyone to ask me to do the equivalent for them.
You can divide my social relationships how you might wish, but it’s clear that those closest to me are literate, funny, bright, entertaining, sweet, charming and quite capable of accidentally putting a clout nail through a fingernail or a foot through a shed roof. These are the social decisions I’ve (often unwittingly) made over the years, to enjoy the company of people who can make me laugh and think, but whom I wouldn’t trust with a powertool; I hope they’re close friends precisely because they think the same about me.
Fixing this shed will probably have to wait for spring anyway, despite the bad weather gradually rotting away the timbers. It needs a long, sunny day, as otherwise it’d be a frothing bucket of misery poured over the heads of both me and my mystery companion. Hopefully by then I’ll have made friends with a lusty, rustic type with biceps like slabs of Cotswold stone and a head full of similar. Either that or I’ll have paid one or even two of them to sort it out and push off.