Giant Projects and New Skills

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Giant Projects and New Skills


As I occasionally mention, I’m working on a fairly big remodeling project: changing my garage into an art studio.

Partly because of my reynauds syndrome, I chose not to do a half-assed garage conversion (I need proper insulation, not a cold cement floor!), which means this remodel has included…

Aye, people often ask me at work about how I learned to fix my own car, and I usually say ‘Oh, I learned from my dad’, because it’s easy and kinda true. I learned the very basic skills from my dad. I could pass my dad tools and had a vague notion of what the appropriate tool for any particular job was because when I was young I helped my dad with a variety of jobs (my sister passed that job to me pretty quickly).

But the actual spannering? I learned that from sitting down with a now very battered copy of a Haynes manual (“Every manual based on a complete strip down*”) and just doing stuff. Slowly. Carefully**.

None of this stuff that people consider is exclusively the preserve of the menz is actually magic, it’s not stuff that requires testicles to achieve***. It’s just stuff, that you can learn****, and perhaps I ought to be a bit more explicit in answering the ‘how did you learn all this magic stuff’ question, because whilst I owe my dad tons, the thing I owe both my parents the most for is the attitude of:

“Of course you can do it, you’re awesome and all you need to do is learn how and then practice”.

* Yes, of a brand new car where none of the bolts are seized, rounded off, rusted solid, missing or covered in an unspeakable layer of filth.

** Or in a frenzy of swearing, screaming ‘WHY WON’T YOU COME OFF YOU BASTARD’ and hitting things with whatever large blunt object comes to hand.

*** Well, okay, almost none. My ability to produce sperm is pretty damn limited.

**** Apart from persuading a DAF44 engine to run right. That is clearly a dark art.