SO my tale this week is of my humble attempts to bring a little Christmas joy into the life of my beloved.
I won't bore you with all the details except to say Mrs P has been struggling a bit with illness this year so we've decided once the whānau has come and gone and I've read the book I know I'll inevitably get for Christmas we're going to head up north for a few weeks in our little bus, figuring a change of scene might do some good.
Naturally Mrs P is in charge of provisions for the expedition — which basically means she gave me the shopping list and pointed me in the direction of Pak'nSave — while my job is to make the ship roadworthy and, perhaps more importantly for her, provide some interior comforts.
The main thing we needed was some sort of bed frame that can be lifted into a reclining position, say 25 degrees.
Now if I'm honest, when it came to the almighty handing out DIY skills I was most definitely somewhere in the middle of the queue marked "Keen Enthusiast".
Sometimes I'll do not too bad a job of it and other times I'll completely cock it up.
Like the time I built a shed and put the window in upside down (don't ask) or the time I fixed plasterboard on to the wall of a new bedroom only to discover I had covered the doorway and effectively sealed myself in.
Back to the matter at hand.
I needed to make a bed frame inside the bus. And it had to be made so it lifted up at one end with ease.
Now I am fortunate to have many golfing mates who are practical fellows and, as the beers were happily flowing the other night, various suggestions were tabled as to how I could complete this structure.
Sparkie Bruce decided an electric motor would do the trick. With the flick of a switch Mrs P would be swiftly elevated. Problem solved. Then some bright spark (forgive the electrical pun) said if the motor was too powerful Mrs P would not be elevated as much as catapulted into the side windows.
So I put that idea on the back burner.
Then Bushman Bill said timber was the best option.
He'd simply cut me some chocks and, as required, I could simply lift up the bed frame with one hand and slip them under it with the other. Simple.
I had to agree it was.
The only thing is I'd need a certain amount of strength to perform such a Herculean task.
No problem for Bill. He's built like a proverbial brick ****house. I'm built like the latter half of that phrase.
And because my life is mostly spent sitting at a desk I'm probably more polystyrene than brick.
So I put that idea on the back burner too.
Fitness Freak thought a series of cables and pulleys like they have in all those fancy machines at his gym would work, with Mrs P effectively raising and lowering her bed like the drawbridge on a medieval castle.
While the idea had merit I could not stop thinking about a certain knight with, er, shall we say "amorous intentions" towards his damsel in distress finding himself on the wrong side of that drawbridge.
Needless to say after that thought the drawbridge plan also went on the back burner.
Luckily, as we were running out of ideas, the Scottish Plumber turned up.
Now he's known in our crowd as a man with the ability to think outside the square and he listened intently as I explained the situation.
Sick wife. Bus holiday etc etc. Needs bed to be elevated at top end.
He thought about it for a while, took a long pull on his beer, and then gave us his recommendation.
"Simple," he said.
"Park on a hill."
Kevin Page is a teller of tall tales with a firm belief too much serious news gives you frown lines. Feel free to share stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. He is taking a break and will resume on January 15 ... if Mrs P lets him.