Guys in the sense of gals. I’m not getting sucked into the murky world of gender fluidity, so I’m addressing myself to anyone who does a bit of housekeeping and household tasks. When I got married, Italy was still a backward place with well-defined gender roles and I, having being fed on shit women’s magazines adhered to the expectations ( more or less) . Remember (before you take umbrage for my use of the word”backward”) that the delitto d’onore was only repealed in 1981!!!! My rebellion, if rebellion it was, was about other things and got shoved to one side when I “fell in love”. Now I happen to think love is a bit of a con. Anyway my then-husband was a very macho-type guy and saw to everything “masculine” in and around the house; do you know what that means? It means I don’t know anything practical! No nothing at all. I’m now on a very steep learning curve as the pergola supports, simply stuck in the ground (“no there’s no need to paint them, the wood has been dried off in ovens madam”) the pergola then, with the rain and gale force wind has come loose, and the risk is that it will collapse under the 3-pronged attack (incorrect preparation, bad weather, too many roses)

So I need to paint the new supports, the guy at Bricoman explains to me the difference between a tin of 8-euro impregnating agent for wood and a 40 -euro one. ‘Nuff said. Then “don’t use a roller, use a brush and work the agent in well. 2,3,4 coats should help it last for a couple of years. Brushes? Prepare then by bending them to give them flexibility, and when you’ve finished wash them and never never STAND them on their bristles! Hang them up that’s what the holes in the handles are for madam!” omg, is that how you feel when you have your first English lesson? Helpless ,uninformed with a mammoth learning task ahead? So now I’m learning to do it myself. You should’ve seen me armed with a screwdriver taking my washing machine apart to empty the filter! What I’m really trying to say is this, we should try and learn a few tricks of the trade . I had always wondered why there were so many men browsing the dull shelves of Brico! But now you know after these humiliations, I’ll be joining them!

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