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How to - the Handywoman's diary

Kimberley King (No job too easy - quick, effective maintenance and repairs)

1 May

You can do it - demolishing a garden wall

Right, here's another one the ladies always seems to be too shy to try out. Which, as I said before, is not right, 'cos generally they just got it wrong what level of muscle is involved. I'll tell you - you can lift a toddler out the bath, you can knock down a wall. As long as you can lift the Mal you're there.

Ladies with hammers

a Mal

So, I was having this very discussion when I was on the job the other day. You'll probably know the one I mean - it was that ugly leaning wall cross the cemetry-end, someone must have put up a dozen years ago when they were clearing a new space for the Paddock centre bins. My client asked me to come over for it.

Well she'd left to get a big bucket for the broken bricks and that lady artist comes walking along. I mean that Heather Reedman, as does the sculptures and has a studio down by the river - not the stuff in Native Nook if that is art.

So, you'll know, of if you don't I'll tell you, that Heather is a slim sort of lady - what they calls petit. And I was saying as there is nothing to be scared of with the wall and she says, "Well that's okay for you to say, Kim - your a big girl with all that brawn". She was trying to be nice so I didn't take it wrong.

Well I wasn't taking that, 'cos you'll know I am a believer that we woman can do anything we wants to and it doesn't do to worry so much about being small. So I drags her round to where I was standing and I gets her to pick up the Mal (that is what a Mallet is a small one of - some think its a sledgehammer but properly speaking, it isn't). Then I put my arms around her and held her arms when she was swinging it to show how easy it was.

And what I told her is what I'll tell you below. It was easy and we had another load of bricks at our feet and were laughing and clapping each other's backs before you knew it.


Knocking over a wall

So here's how you do it.

  1. preparation. I can't stress it enough - every job. Steel toecap boots, jeans - or long legs and sleeves at least, gloves with a good grip and glasses to stop bits of brick going in your eyes. Some wear shin pads. Gorrilla Tubs (big plastic bins for rubble and stuff). Mal or Sledge.
  2. Plenty of space. You'll want a good swing and need to be standing somewhere tidy.
  3. Stand with legs apart and Mal on the floor in the middle. Nice straight back - stay like that all the way through.
  4. Lift the Mal gently to see where it'll naturally hit the wall. Stand so its hits six inches (two bricks) from the top.
  5. Just let the Mal swing back and forth. Don't force it. No real muscle needed. Swing the baby basket.
  6. Let the swing get wider and wider. Don't mind about the wall. Just let the swing go through it when it reaches that high.
  7. Nice cracking sound and start again. No force required - the Mal's own weight will take the wall down. Trust me.

Easy A? Better workout than pilates too, I'd think.

Maintaining a Professional Relationship.

Well one things I've always said is that the job's a job and you need to be polite whatever. So I'm sorry if I got in the middle of something when my client came back and found Heather and me chatting.

I don't want to get into it, but if there was something I said, I'd like to say to both ladies it wasn't meant. Certainly both left and didn't seem so happy and I didn't get the crumpets this time.

So I hope all's all right.

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