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At the age of ten life seems simple, it's all about running jumping and climbing trees. By eighteen you have discovered the opposite sex, alcohol and nightclubs. By twenty five you are your own person, confident and full of life. Suddenly you hit thirty. You find yourself questioning your choices from the years that have past, feeling slightly left on the shelf, wondering where your life is heading, juggling family and friends and faced with ever aging parents. You are not alone, welcome to 30 years and countinga sideways look at life in your thirties.

Do-it-yourself. I’d rather not.

There are many things that I excel at. I can explain the structure of DNA. Put a game controller in my hand and I can frag down the enemy with the best of them. I am pretty good behind a camera and I cook a mean pot of chilli to name but a few of my many talents. However if you get me to put up a shelf chances are it will fall down within the hour. Some people have a natural ability with their hands for repairing and building while others like me are left wondering how something that looks so easy can be so hard?

My track record with DIY has never been good. Not that I have ever done anything particularly adventurous. I did build a fence with my Dad a few months back in my parents garden but even that didn’t go great. My sister’s boyfriend Arthur (who admittedly is a builder by trade) also helped out and in the time it took him to hack through four concrete post stumps I managed to get through one. Not my most manly of moments.

Previous attempts at some home improvements include drilling a large hole in a wall while trying to hang a mirror in my student house at university. Painting most of the carpet while painting a wall in a previous flat and countless tales of taking broken joysticks to bits only to put them back together in a worse condition then when I started. All in all if there is a job that needs doing I am really not the guy to do it.

In fairness I should be better at DIY than I actually am. My Dad is a mechanic by trade and for as long as I can remember has been able to turn his hand to all manner of jobs around the house. Likewise I was still part of the generation who got taught design technology skills at school. For six years I spent a whole term in the woodwork class rooms making all sorts of badly constructed objects from wood and metal. I can tell you what a dovetail joint is but I'm screwed if I can make one.

As I started out saying some people just seem to have a natural ability for this sort of things. They have a practical ability with their hands. I guess it comes down to how the brain works. If you explained to me how an engine works I would retain that information and be able to pass it on with ease. If you showed me how to take it to bits however I would be lost. I am more a theory than practice kind of person which probably why I have a preference for facts and knowledge rather than practical skills. It is just the way my mind works.

I mention all of this because tomorrow I will be attempting to paint Maz’s bathroom. This will actually be the second time I have tried having made a start a few days ago. I say a start but in reality I got as far as pouring out the paint that she got off of her sister only to discover that it was blue and not white as she thought and then having to clean the rollers and trays again. Now she has gone out a brought some white paint so there are no excuses.

Well here is hoping that it all goes better than my previous attempts. Besides it is only painting two walls. What could possibly go wrong?

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