When it comes to home repairs, I am the 'make-do' master

BRW 31st October 2011 Photo by Louise Kennerley  new Ikea store in Tempe opening November 2nd generic shots of products and building story by georgina dent job #38857205
BRW 31st October 2011 Photo by Louise Kennerley new Ikea store in Tempe opening November 2nd generic shots of products and building story by georgina dent job #38857205

Once, maybe twice a year, my beloved and I visit a big Swedish homewares store to stock up on household "essentials".

We'll usually walk out with a crate of GLIMMA tea-lights, a L??SKIG dragon glove-puppet, and a couple of IND??GEST??NN hot-dogs, which we jam down our throats during the 45-second walk from the exit to the car park.

We went to this big Swedish homewares store last week and were having a very productive day - we'd grabbed a roll of ??VERFL??D gift-wrap, a SP??KA pussycat night-light, and a green GUBBR??RA rubber pastry brush - everything we needed to keep the household running smoothly for the rest of 2018.

When we decided to call it quits, we accidentally stepped through a shortcut-doorway, travelled through a portal to an earlier part of the store, and wound up in a section we'd never seen before. The Curtain Rails & Rods Department.

I didn't want to be there. I had no interest in curtain rails or rods. But my beloved said, "Actually, maybe we need a curtain rod for the bedroom." I said, "But we already have one. I put it up years ago." She said, "Yeah but that's a 'make-do' rod you put up temporarily until we bought a proper one. It's a garden stake you took from a dead tomato plant. You didn't even clean it. There's still potting mix on one end."

The word "make" means to make stuff, and the word "do" means to do stuff, and these are both positive, energetic, high-achieving words.

That is, until you put them together and get "make-do", which means doing something in a half-arsed, quick-fix way until you eventually get around to doing it properly, but you always forget and it stays like that for the rest of eternity.

And I am the Make-Do Master: I've created make-do curtain rods from garden stakes. I've created make-do garden stakes from broom handles. I've created make-do broom handles from curtain rods. It gets a little messed up.

The flyscreens on our windows are make-do: just wire-mesh that's been stapled directly onto the window frame (stapled so badly, mosquitos have jimmied them off with their proboscises).

The paint-job in the living room is make-do: I painted one coat, never got round to a second, and now I tell people it's the weathered, white-washed "Greek Island Villa Under Crippling Austerity Measures" effect.

A plastic sewing box is our make-do cutlery tray. A kitchen stool is my make-do bedside-table. Every household repair is a make-do repair, usually involving either Blu Tack, gaffer tape, rubber bands, or a Brumby's bread-tie (must be Brumby's, Baker's Delight don't have the same torque).

So I said to my beloved, "Nah, we don't need a curtain rod! Let's get the FJ????RPPPPPD out of here!"

And together we headed off, trying to find the exit, while she sighed softly to herself, wondering how she wound up with a make-do man who was always supposed to be temporary, but somewhere along the way, she forgot.

This story When it comes to home repairs, I am the 'make-do' master first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.