I am by no means a DIY amateur, I have managed, in the past, to carry out a few quite breathtaking pieces of home improvement. My proudest hour was, most likely, the replacement of a large TV aerial on our roof. I managed ( and this was in a foreign country) to purchase several poles, a load of wire and an aerial. I learnt how to split and wire up coaxial cables and spent around 100 hours positioning the aerial itself.

When I say that was my proudest hour, I mean that my darkest overshadows it by a long mile, it negates 20 years of well intentioned and often flawlessly lucky stabs at DIY. Last year I decided to re plaster my child’s bedroom. The initial stages went well, the room was cleared and the walls chipped down to reveal a rough and ready surface upon which to lay my plaster. In fact I followed every step perfectly. The plaster went on smoothly and, after a suitable time period, I wallpapered, every one was extremely impressed, none more so than myself; my children really knew their dad was a real DIY man. However, as we all know, Knowledge is Power, and I had not really, so it turned out, mixed up the plaster very well. Now I should have realised that that was a critical part of the project as a whole, I should have looked online at a DIY website and made sure I had the proportions rather closer to the ideal than my rough guess.

What a fool I felt as my daughter’s wall slowly crumbled and flaked away onto the floor, along with the expensive princess © wallpaper we had carefully applied to it..

In retrospect I learnt a lot, trouble is so did everyone else, they had a good lesson in what a fool I am.