First let me say mine is a small, humble dwelling, though of infinite variety. If I further divulge that one source of variety is the incidence of different door designs I may provide a clue concerning my week’s activities, and possibly be drawn into admitting to one of the challenges of advancing age.
Doors various – below stairs (that’s the ground floor, of course, but I like to imagine I have servants and that’s where they live) the internal doors are all of glass panels, the frames of which, though naturally finished, fail to meet any standard of uniformity, although I have endeavoured to standardise the handles (in brass, I fitted the last one just in time to be told that brass had become ‘so last year’). Upstairs, and yes, I promise I will use the proper term ‘door furniture’ from now on, there are four internal doors in four patterns, none of which are glass, and none of which bears even a passing resemblance to its siblings. Siblings???.
Gripping, so far, isn’t it?
Irreproachably, the Memsahib gave notice that conformity needed to be established, so I ordered three doors of identical design to the last one I fitted. On Saturday, after keeping vigil before my tools through the night, I set about preparing Door One, which incidentally is the door to my ‘airy nest’. The Vale of Despond yawned open before me, but undeterred I removed the old door, used it as a pattern, and trimmed its replacement neatly to size. Then I cut recesses for the hinges into the new door…
Yes, I cut them on the wrong side. I swear I studied all the possibilities for an hour before I made the first incision, turned the patient – sorry, the door – over and over in my mind, but I still got it wrong, and I still don’t know why!
It’s a spatial awareness thing, I know that; the condition of being unable to reverse images and angles in the brain – but I never used to suffer from it: where did it come from? Oh, and the door doesn’t fit, in spite of all my careful trimming, but that is down to latch revenge, and a separate issue.
So, in summation: there are those who will persuade you that old age has not affected their abilities, or impaired their mental function. Maybe they are lucky, or maybe they are delivering a brace of testicles, but I do not count myself among their number. I can measure my deterioration in units of door. A task I could achieve comfortably in a couple of hours not many years ago now detains me for one-and-a-half days (two if you count the afternoon I spent sitting here with an ice-pack on my head, muttering incoherently). The thought that two more doors await me before I can claim to have performed my mission fills me with dread. I may need counselling.