A Guest Post by The Husband
I've always held the theory that my generation, I'll be 50 this year, was the last generation to be brought up by Victorians. My grandparents were born in 1905, therefore my mother to this day lives by Victorian values. I spoke when I was spoken to, was downstairs ready for breakfast, after making my bed, at 7 o'clock and that was when I was seven years old. I grew up respecting my elders, didn't even know what a swear word was and I didn't say; 'Thank you', I said; 'Thank you very much'.
I was also brought up to try and live a dignified life. I'm not the perfect dad, I know that, but I've always tried to instill the same values in my children. Part of me drives them mad, when I insist on being early for everything. I take bad punctuality like a personal insult, however that's the mindset I was brought up with, to show respect towards others. When I was little there were no Chinese takeaway outlets or pizzas you could cook in the microwave. My family had lived through the second world war, were used to getting by on rations and they never changed. When I was growing up, I ate what was put in front of me, I never asked what it was, I just cleared my plate. I know a lot of it was liver, because it was cheap and I must admit I won't touch it now, but I guess I must have been fine on it at the time.
I will also admit I'm a bit of a hoarder. I don't keep rubbish but I won't let go of anything of value. You never know when you may need it again and you will be amazed what you can create if you put your mind to it. Remember; 50% of DIY is being brave enough to have a go! I do pride myself in what I have managed to build and achieve out of the most innocuous things, which I put down to a happy, but frugal childhood. I was talking to a group of young people recently about how we used to make go karts from a plank of wood, some pram wheels and a length of rope for a steering wheel. They looked at me like I was from another planet, but that was how everyone amused themselves back then. I haven't had to build any gokarts recently, but I did make our bike shed out of the top of some old bunk beds and a broken fence panel. I also made a tassimo rack out of bed slats, so my misspent youth wasn't so bad after all.
I thought I would share my latest creation, our tv unit. I wanted one that was bespoke to our needs. I worked out it would cost about 70 pounds to buy all the wood required to build it, heavens knows how much it would cost to have it built for us, I wouldn't even consider that. So I took two cabinets, dismantled them and built this from scratch. I had to measure, cut and drill every single piece. I must admit it was a lot of work but I'm pleased with the result. I wanted something that would contain everything and tidy the corner up and I've achieved that so I'm happy.
Another thing that drives me is my passion for not paying anyone to do something I could do myself, right down to washing my car. I would advise anyone to think carefully before you throw anything away and maybe start thinking about what you could use. You may surprise yourself, I have!