I have never been a very practical fellow. I am the first to admit that operating a washing machine escapes my knowledge, programming my DVD player so that it turns the film and the TV off after I have fallen asleep is only barely within my capability (I know, I know, it's one button pressed a series of times), I can change a tyre on my car - but that is it. Ask me to do other practical tasks like sewing buttons, ironing shirts or any form of D.I.Y and the answer will probably be a simple blank look.
However, I did not realise the depths of my practical ineptitude until this week. I was working at Adele's house, doing show promotion, writing and generally updating my web designer with images and such when I received an email. Adele. She wondered if I could pop to the shop and get some bits for the house - Bread, milk, loo rolls. The usual household items.
Then she dropped the bombshell. Could I get her some light bulbs for the kitchen. Light bulbs? But there are literally hundreds of combinations - push sockets, screw brackets, energy saving, big ones, small ones, different wattage, different colours, different shapes - long ones, thin ones, perfectly round ones. To someone like me that does not appreciate the complex nature of electric lights I was not aware just how difficult this task would be. I responded to the email saying that I would go. Bread? No problem, milk? Not an issue. Loo Rolls? Bring it on! But bulbs? What size do you need? Adele replied (promptly) saying I should take one with me. Take a bulb with me? To the shop? Carry it down the road and match it up like a pre-school puzzle? I am afraid I cannot do that. Even a fool has limits to how stupid he would look when not wearing his cap'n'bells.
So Adele came up with another plan. Write down the details. That seemed much more sensible. I got the pen, got the paper and began to search for the box the bulbs came in to make a note of their size, shape, colour etc etc etc. No box. I emailed Adele again. (At this point I am sure she was becoming even more annoyed with my foolish incompetence in light of the simplicity of the task - pun intended!) Adele told me to take the bulb out and read the writing. Is it just me that was blindly unaware that the manufacturers of bulbs write the details on the side of them? I had no idea. Writing on a bulb to me seemed madness! I know most of you reading this will wonder how I am able to even manage to log into my blog to update it if I cannot buy a bulb.
I have actually only purchased bulbs once in my life. I got a desk lamp to sit in the studio and purchased a nice bright bulb to go with it. Since it has been in the lamp - two things have happened.
1) The bulb has melted a hole in the plastic case of the lamp and destroyed the rigid integrity of the plastic meaning it crumbles and flakes in a yellow mess whenever the lamp is moved.
2) The bulb, while pointed downward, has managed to melt the cases of three Cd's so that they cannot even be opened.
I explained this to Adele, told her I was happy to guess at a bulb size and put it back in the light, but she may well return to a hole in the ground where her kitchen used to be.
Suffice to say - the kitchen light remains without bulb.