Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Meet you in the garage, Dr Freud

Even by my deplorable standards this is a terrible photo with its uncontained and out-of-focus subject. I should say this small parts bin-rack is attached to the garage wall and the garage is full of car so photography was fraught. But the result is not offered for its aesthetics. It’s evidence in an act of psycho-self-analysis.

The plastic bins contain screws of differing size, panel pins, washers, tin tacks, etc, an attempt to systematise DIY Chez Bonden. But note the Elastoplast labels attached any-old-how, note the dust, note the unnecessary packaging stuffed into the bins, note the air of desuetude.

The photo is truthfully symbolic. It captures both the commendable impulse towards efficiency and the slipshod methods that undermine the impulse. The rack is the work of someone long on theory and short on practice. One who subscribes heavily to the principle: if a job’s worth doing, let’s half do it. My father who, to my knowledge, never knocked in a single nail would approve. I’d invoke Lord Finchley if I didn’t think he’s over-invoked on the Internet. Presently I am up in my loft reading Barry Bucknell's autobiography.

THE LOVE PROBLEM 29,106 words. In Chapter 6 (unfinished) Jana provides a flying lesson for a wealthy, somewhat unlikeable young man who’s slow at learning. It’s common knowledge that Barrett Bonden is of the male gender yet future readers, if any, may wonder. From time to time BB is Jana, port wine stain and all. I had relished spotlighting her advantages during this flying lesson but my fingers were guided elsewhere. Through Jana’s sympathetic teaching the man improves, making the larger point: Jana is professional and I’ve no business practising vengeance on the sort of men I can’t stand


Plutarch said...

I am enjoying the summaries of Love Problem progress. They are beginning to remind me of the synopses which head the chapters of some Victorian novels (some George Eliot's for example. They never worry me and I rather admire the tight habit of their prose. But it has often occurred to me that they must have been of as much use to the author as to readers.

Sir Hugh said...

I guess you mean Barry Bucknell - the first tv guy to popularise DIY?

Barrett Bonden said...

Plutarch: Your suspicions are correct. Reducing part of the plot (better still, the whole thing) to a few words or sentences is a bit like checking the compass. However there is a risk. I emerge, exhilarated by what I've done, and it's asking a lot of readers to share that feeling. Imagine if I were assembling a garden shed and I marked each stage with a breathless despatch on "Gee, now the foonds are done." followed two days later by "And now the walls."

Sir Hugh: Quite correct. I've corrected the name. Experts in those b&w days were far less bossy than they are now.

DuchessOmnium said...

It's positively tidy and miraculously well executed by Duchess standards. On the whole I like disorganised people better than organised ones, and I think theory is a better fate than practice.

On the other hand I can't agree with you about doing half jobs. I think if a job is worth doing it is worth doing well -- and that is why I do so little.

Barrett Bonden said...

DO: An unreconstructed romantic, in fact. Alas all these professions of technical atavism were undermined by your account of re-watering the barge. Your cover is blown. However, I see we share one tendency - to add a sting to the ends of clich├ęs.

The Crow said...

Ooooh - I want one of those cabinets! Maybe two, even.

Rouchswalwe said...

Hmm, I think I know what Jana's toolbox looks like.

Julia said...

Tool drawers are designed to attract dust, it's their destiny.

Back from mountains, hence long silence!

Barrett Bonden said...

The Crow: You could buy one from the maker SSI Schaefer. Or you could do what I did: receive it as a freebie in an attempt to influence what I subsequently wrote about the company.

RW (zS): I may become Jana from time to time, but there's no temptation for me to turn her into me. She's a hero, I'm a scrubber.

Julia: In fact that's an improvement on the line used in funeral services.

Re vacation: Just as long as you haven't taken up yodelling.