These days, thanks to DIY books, programmes and retail outlets, I must have saved myself and others a useful amount of money over the years. Professional tradesmen still seen to make a living, so I shouldn’t feel too guilty; and I do get them in for the big jobs, like re-wiring or extending the house.
I’m a Jack of all trades, but a Master of none.
I can wallpaper walls and paint woodwork.
Though I say it myself all the jobs I have done,
Though not brilliant, are adequately good work.
There’s not much I can’t mend (except glassware and plastic)
With adhesive, or screw, or new part.
(Oh, and plumbing I hate – it’s all wrenches and mastic,
And it never goes right, from the start.)
I can wire up a plug; I can put up a shelf;
I can knock up a mortaring mix;
I can build a low wall in the garden myself,
With neat jointing between all the bricks;
Just show me a bathroom that’s needing new tiles,
And I’ll show you what tiling’s about:
I’ll slap on bright new ones in up-to-date styles
And fill in the spaces with grout.
I can re-roof a shed in the blink of an eye;
When a tree needs a haircut, I’ll lop it;
Squeaky hinges get oiled if they’re rusty and dry;
If a tap starts to drip, I can stop it.
I may not be speedy, in fact I agree
Professionals do things much faster.
But I’m certainly cheap, for my labour is free –
That’s because this old Jack’s his own Master.