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Archive for March 14th, 2011

Do It Yourself (but past tense and reflexive person)

Posted by Dirck on 14 March, 2011

I’m a little off my game today, as my son has invented a new virus which he was quite anxious to share.  Before ague, palsy and other forms of physical distress struck me over the past weekend, I managed to accomplish two things.  The lesser of the two was to collect a pair of shoes from a place which actually repairs shoes.  For less than $20, I have a pair of shoes which was shedding its soles returned to service.  The place where this miracle was accomplished is Clark’s Luggage and Shoe Repair, which is the nicest establishment in a rather grim neighbourhood (it would be a pretty nice establishment in a non-grim neighbourhood, too).  Folks in the general area of Regina with decent shoes in need of revitalization should overcome location worries and look in.  In the near future, I’ll be taking in a once-nice portmanteau I’ve got.

The greater accomplishment was to overturn a repressive regime.  You see, for more than a decade and in two separate houses, my wife and I have been in the grip of an old imported terror– a bathroom sink with separate taps for hot and cold water.

I understand that in England this is quite standard, since the means of heating water there is, or at least was for much of the previous two centuries, such that there is a vast difference in pressure between hot and cold water outlets.  I don’t quite recall whether trying to bring the two streams out through a single pipe results in scalding or freezing, but you don’t get something that’s pleasant to wash your hands in.  Since Canada was following England’s lead in a lot of things, one frequently finds this set-up in older houses.  It’s nearly ceremonial, of course, since most houses have a central water heater that emits at the same pressure as the cold feeds– a mere observance of the old ways without any utility nor understanding of the reasons behind it.

I like The Old Ways where they make sense.  Where they are the mere equivalent of vestigial tails, I can do without them, especially where they cause me discomfort.  When the hot tap began to leak recently, I was therefore moved to do something about the situation.  This tap had been leaking when we moved in, and at that time all I could afford to do was buy some new washers.  This time… I had a little wiggle room on the credit cards.  The result:

Down with the despotic duo!

The end of an era of repression and alternately chilled or scorched hands!  The heads of the regime cast down in disgrace!

Actually, I’m hanging onto the old taps for a garage sale over the summer.  Something that astonishes me is how well these new fixtures sort with the early-’50s porcelain.  We have apparently resumed some kind of cycle in this line of style.

The real victory here, though… when the water supply was resumed, nothing leaked!  I prove once again that I am marginally competent in home repair, and thus will not see myself as a contestant on Canada’s Worst Handyman.

Today’s pen: Mabie-Todd Swallow
Today’s ink: Herbin’s Poussière de Lune

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