He's driven me up the wall

ASK most people to name a famous wall and they'll usually come up with one of the classics - the Great Wall of China, the Berlin Wall or Pink Floyd's Wall.

With all the drama and construction at my house this past month, I think I'm entitled, and have suffered enough, to add another wall to this list.

The name Wailing Wall is being used in Jerusalem (probably by some other frustrated wife of a DIY handyman) so I've decided to name the newest wall in Australia "Hubby's wall".

I suppose I should start this wall saga thing at the beginning.

Our humble family home is split level (it's nothing the kids have done to it - the house came that way).

A tacky set of old-fashioned scratched, wooden banisters ran the length of the upper level (well, "upper level" is a bit grand - it's only two small steps difference, but it can feel a lot higher after a few chardys).

I've always hated those banisters and one day made the passing comment, "I wonder what it would be like in here if we got rid of those awful things?"

Once hubby realised I was talking about the banisters, and not the kids, he got all excited.

Suddenly chunks of timber (left over from a long, sad list of half-finished DIY projects), measuring tapes, marking pencils, calculators, spirit levels and a claw hammer were all being assembled in the living room.

Looking back, this should have been my first warning.

"I'll build a wall," hubby declared to my blank, incredulous face.

I'll build a wall? What kind of statement is that?

This from a man who took three months to build a simple dog flap in the back door. Once again, looking back, big fat warning.

The next day, when I returned home from a bit of shopping, hubby had already moved the set of banisters - on to the front lawn.

While I was away he'd been merrily having his own little one-man demolition party and was quite pleased with himself.

I soon fixed that.

"Okay, now what?" I asked as I stared at the gaping hole, broken plasterboard and cracked cornices where the banisters had once been attached.

"I'll build a wall," he replied. Translation: he would be spending the rest of the weekend in Bunnings trying to figure out how he was going to fix the mess.

Meanwhile, I was left with so much dust around the house from his happy hour with the hammer that I was looking at spending the weekend attached to the vacuum cleaner.

Plasterboard dust gets into everything, including nooks and crevices I didn't even know I had.

In his overzealous effort to demonstrate a certain level of competency in the carpentry department (and, more importantly, to prove me wrong) hubby went a bit overboard with nailing up the plasterboard.

Three weeks and what felt, and sounded like, 3000 nails later, the wall was up and I was ushered in to the living room to admire his handiwork.

I don't know who was more amazed at the finished result him or me.

"Is there any plasterboard underneath all those nails?" I casually inquired not wanting to sound too critical.

"I had to make it strong," he replied.

Strong? Let's just say if an earthquake ever hits my house, with the amount of hardware on that wall it will be the only thing left standing - that and the banisters still out on my front lawn.



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