My brother-in-law ThePlumber is a very handy man. Today whilst Babysis and I sat drinking coffee in the cold, he had purchased a combustion stove via ebay and was merrily cutting holes in his roof, installing a brick base and assembling a bevvy of pipes to ensure that tonight, the family could toast marshmallows and sleep snugly in their beds. I don't often complement ThePlumber, he plumbed my house and forgot the flashing on our valley gutter which led to all sorts of problems with leaf blockage and water spilling under the tiles and into the roof during summer storms. The ensuing stain on my loungeroom ceiling which is regularly painted over with mould preventor is a lasting reminder of his early incompetence. He no longer does toilets or septic tanks so the crises we've encountered over the past few years, usually involving floods or poo have been very expensively repaired by strangers.
But . . . in the long run, he's been a good boy. Like the time Bumper ran over the outdoor tap with the tractor and left a gushing geyser spewing precious potable water 50 metres in the air - he came round in the cold, stemmed the flow and then went home for dinner. He connected taps and ballcocks to the bath in the horse paddock and has replaced my hot water system twice with no charge.
My 25 year old toilets flush, my showers don't leak and the taps are the originals. He's rennovated an entire house (again while Babysis drank a lot of coffee), brings in a good income (well he charges more than a bleedin' brain surgeon) and is one of those restless types that would rather be refurbishing his pool filter than loungeing on the couch. He's built a vegetable garden that an Italian farmer would be proud to own, fenced his own property with a creasote covered gloop that turned my grey ponies into dappled chargers, cleared his block of all but protected turpentines, filled in the dam at the bottom of the garden, knocked down and rebuilt fences and has formed a particularly close bond with Lasalle Royal Flash (Laurie) whom he feeds for me each morning.
Babysis slobdanovich on the other hand (I love her, really I do) spends his money on pretty shiny things, has cappucinos with the soccer mums and loves a long lunch, rarely cleans her house, is pathetic at disciplining her kids and regularly blows car engines with her erratic driving habits. I think sometimes, she doesn't realise how lucky she is to have such a workaholic for a hubby.
And he's very handy at rigging a flaming flying fox to light bonfires . . . or trails of petrol soaked toilet paper as a form of ignition . . . I could do with a man who is 'handy' but perhaps not one who is so 'bandy'.