Monday, 16 September 2013


Boy, I'm useless. Practical, DIY useless. I can make stuff, objects, knick-knackery, but I can't do the real 'dad' stuff. Like I said, useless. Can I change this? I hope so, it's really starting to bug me as I get older, but no more useful. I've had a thought about starting up some informal instruction. See if I can't find some local dads who aren't useless... they exist. Then maybe get a small group to gather on a Sunday and fix stuff. Maybe we gather at a different dad's house each week and fix his problems (the structural kind, i wouldn't dare go near the other kind!) whilst learning from the practical dads. All of this with the help of a few beers and a chat, good spirits. The church of dad. Maybe one week on one's allotment, learn a few things whilst helping out, everyone's happy. Look, I'm not totally useless, I know that. In fact i was knocking up a spectacular roast leg of lamb whilst penning this.. and also i do manage to earn a living doing something! That's not going to fix my house though! A house which is currently shrouded in scaffolding (teach me to buy a three storey house!) as builders point out all the things I couldn't usefully repair (roof, sash windows) and tell me how much it will now cost me! I don't ever remember a builder at our house when I was a kid. Just my dad up a ladder... Or falling off a ladder. but that's a different story. How did he know how to do stuff (and his dad... and his dad)? How did it skip me? I'm not alone. Maybe art school educations aren't the best place for picking up DIY skills! I've become mono-skilled. I need a much wider range of skills, like people used to have, before we all narrowed down what we did, over-specialization. So maybe these skill-shares with a few generous and practical dads could start a ball rolling, reverse a trend. I'd like my boys to have the skills to do anything. To feel that if they wanted they could even build their own home one day. Well, they're not going to learn that from me as it stands. Something has to happen, i think I'll put this out on Facebook, see what I can do. To start with, I could do with just drilling holes first before I start forcing screws in! Right lets get these dad's back on track. Dad lessons, workshops... Dadshops!... Someone make me useful. Please.


  1. Shame we don't live close, I've been plastering a new room at our house every weekend for the past month and after a few bodges I am know a master plasterer and I love it.

  2. Not a shame for you Jonathan... otherwise you'd be plastering my walls now! I think i could see the appeal of plastering... i'm ok with clay like products, window putty and a putty knife i can handle! If it's decorative, i can get a kind of Craft head on.... but if it needs to be solid/useable then i start to wobble... like a ladder if i tried to fix one.