Feb 28, 2021: Coming Unstuck

Well, the plan for a game a day has gone a little bit off the rails today as we haven’t managed to get anything played.

It’s been quite a busy day, all told, with a trip to my mum’s this morning to do a huge list of jobs that she’s managed to rack up in the past couple of weeks since we last saw her.

These ranged in complexity from “get a peg off the washing line” to “break into the summerhouse”.

Getting the peg off was easy. Checking all her pens to see if they were black or blue – suddenly a priority because of, when asked, “POSTAL VOTING!” – was a doddle. Showing her where the rest of the crosswords were on her Kindle, piece of cake.

Breaking into the summerhouse, less so.

Basically, the summerhouse is a victim of wood warping from a variety of different weathers and the subsidence and general decay of the bit of decking that it’s standing on. While mum had the majority of the decking replaced a few years ago, in quite a slip-shod fashion if truth be told, the bit the summerhouse is on is very much the OG wood. Which means it’s potentially going to disappear into the ground at any given moment as the decking beneath it gives way like a sinkhole.

What also compounds the difficulties of breaking into the summerhouse is my dad’s sudden need to put bolts into everything to make things harder to open for ne’er-do-wells, criminal elements and sons who have to bodge stuff now he’s no longer around. The doors also come with metal plates around the locking mechanisms to prevent tampering and a sort of flange affair which prevents any sort of access to the catch of the door.

Which is great if they are working as they should, less so if you have to break in.

The garage door catch conked out a few years ago and I had to crowbar my way into there because there was no way I could get an implement in to push the catch back. This wasn’t quite as bad, it was just that the summerhouse is slightly bent out of shape and the doors are hideously out of alignment – something that was the case when dad was around too – but all the anti-interloper additions provide a muttering son with very few points of ingress.

It’s not even like we could have got the window open either, because he put bolts in that too. Which I did take out early last year but, with winter coming, mum helpfully put back in.

I managed it, with some gentle persuasion. And then spent some fun time chiselling away at the bottom of the door frame so that the door wouldn’t stick (it still totally sticks) as badly so at least mum could get in there if she needed to. And all the time I was wielding the chisel I was thinking back to the time when I was a kid and messed around with the tools in the garage – dad having left a chisel out – and neatly sliced a huge gash in my thumb, such was its well-maintained sharpness. Hoping this time that I wouldn’t do that – but, I suppose, this time I wasn’t just twatting about so it stood me in better stead. Also, I suspect, the prospect of nearly bisecting my thumb as a child probably puts you in good stead for not doing it again as an adult.

Still, a board game would have been nice.