Are you thinking about fixing something around your house? Stop! Take a breath.
Ask yourself these important questions.
One:Have I successfully fixed anything in the past? Two: What will life in lockdown be like when I break this thing forever? And three: Am I a bit of an idiot?
Everything tends towards chaos. Everything wants to break and it wants to do it when you need it the most. A lockdown is the perfect opportunity for whiteware to flash error codes. It knows you can't get some one in to help. It knows you probably don't have the parts. It also knows you fancy yourself as a bit of a handyman.
So far during the lockdown I have tried to fix the vacuum cleaner, the dryer, the dishwasher and my laptop. About 75 per cent of those things will never work again.
On day one the clothes dryer stopped going completely. A fuse or something. Not a single little light shining.
Drying the kid's annoying washing is easy in this beautiful weather but give it a few weeks and things will get soggy.
You don't want to run out of smalls during a lockdown. So I watched a YouTube clip.
Turns out the fuse is deep with in the machine. First I had to take the whole thing to pieces. So many parts all connected by wires. Two control panels. So many screws.
Even the tumbler had to come out. It was like defusing a bomb. I was Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol.
I got down on my hands and knees and went about my work. Hours later I was finished. The dryer had exploded all over the lounge. A slow motion explosion of my own doing. There were parts everywhere. I didn't find the fuse and the clothes dryer won't go back together. The answer to question 3 is yes. I am an idiot.
Next the dishwasher flashed error 102. Once again with the help of a YouTube tutorial I got stuck in. Took the machine to pieces.
Coincidentally this appliance doesn't fit back together either. The machine is done. A bunch of parts on the kitchen floor. I've been placed on permanent sink dishwashing duties for the duration of the lockdown.
My laptop was going a bit slow so I rolled up the sleeves and got stuck in. So confident was I in my skills I didn't even back up the contents to a cloud or external hard drive. I just went for it.
The old operating system reinstallation trick. Complete disaster. Two days of pain later it's a paper weight. Won't boot. Won't do anything. Just a screen with a flashing question mark in the middle. I'm writing this article on my 10 year old's school Chromebook.
By the time the vacuum cleaner broke my credibility around the house was at an all time low. The mother of my children begged me not to try and fix it.
"You'll make it worse. Look at the dryer, look at the dishwasher, look at your laptop!". But you can't let that kind of negativity cloud your thinking. You have to back yourself.
So I girded my loins and went about my work. It wasn't easy. I was on the back foot for a while. There was a lot of swearing and sweating involved but I bloody fixed it. That bad boy is running better than ever. In your face entropy. Not today chaos. The Electrolux is back. No full vacuum bag is going to stop me. I emptied it like a champ.
A successful fix feels amazing. You are the king of the house. You are a handyman.
Of course you won't succeed every time. You will have your setbacks. You will have your doubters. But we are in a lockdown situation. You are the last line of defence against chaos and disorder.
You must protect your family from entropy. Sure your handiwork will mostly make things worse. Sure you will leave horrible mess after horrible mess. But if you try hard enough, if you believe, one in four times you might just pull it off. So go for it. What's the worst that could happen.