Saturday, March 29, 2008

If the women don't find you handsome...

March 13th

They might as well find you handy (thank you to the "Red Green Show"). Today Jonno and I tackled a few of the dozen house chores that come and continue to come with any house in any condition. These chores are of late an exercise in frustration that I have actually come to appreciate, and working with Jonno, it has become a downright pleasure. We moved slowly into the day, starting with coffee at CafĂ© Stone underneath the orange tree. Breakfast of poached eggs, sausage and toast at his local on Race Course Road which, in addition to races, seems to provide courses for a wide range of appetites, as this two-block stretch holds cuisine of at least four continents. Australia is fortunate to have a large immigrant population, especially Greeks, Turks and Italians that brought with them their various Mediterranean foods that are a much better fit for Australia’s summers than the meat pies and stews (good winter food as it is) of their English and Irish heritage.

There was a fair bit to do, and in his relaxed yet energetic way, Jonno casually laid out more than we could possibly do in a day. He had interspersed so many breaks and diversions into the plan that you could work non-stop for a week on this kind of schedule and not feel ruffled. We repaired the roof on his shed and planned other small tasks, but the biggest task, one that Jonno did not want to face alone (but very well could have), was the creation of a Pot and Pan rack out of an old green ladder that could be raised and lowered on a set of pulleys.

I could see exactly what he was talking about and felt like it was a great idea. I had done nothing of the sort before, but felt confident in my ability to figure it out. Jonno's faith in me was encouraging as I spent his money on various blocks and tackle to make this rack move smoothly. As with most jobs, the first half of the day was spent finding supplies. As the last half unfolded, to my great joy and surprise, this pot rack was actually starting to look like what I had imagined in my head and not the 1st grade quality drawing I had sketched in my journal. The actual blocking device went together smoothly. My greatest fear was the unknown of where exactly the joist was in the 14-foot ceilings in the kitchen. After putting both our heads together, we managed to find it and only put two extra holes in the ceiling.

As a child, one of my favorite books was "The Sorcerers Scrapbook." One of the many asides woven into the narrative is the sorcerer’s satisfaction of a neatly cast spell. While my effort was far from magic, myself and Jonno could not help but have a beer and proudly stare at our effort the rest of the evening, while taking every opportunity we could to raise and lower our rustically efficient device to display the ease of which the pans were now available.

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