Last week we went to an apartment where the previous occupant had been affected by dwarfism so several sections of the kitchen unit were very low. As the current occupant was rather tall, they had decided that these needed to be raised to the normal height. They also wanted them fitted in exactly the right place to provide an unbroken surface across the kitchen.

Work units are heavy, so The Master Carpenter decides to send the apprentice, ie, me underneath to hold the thing up while he screws the fixtures into place. That way he had both hands free and, as he puts it, if the whole thing collapses before he can fasten the screws, there are plenty more apprentices out there.

This plan fails as the work unit is bigger than me in all directions and I can’t support it all at once: a bit like the little dutch boy on the dam, wherever I hold it another corner drops down.

Seeing the problem. The Master Carpenter holds the front of the work unit steady, and holds the back up with his size 43 boot resting on a handy radiator. This results in him lying on his back on the floor. It also leaves half of the work unit unsupported.

Seeing this, I slide into the same position on the other end of the work unit: hands at front, holding it straight, boot supporting the back. Great. Everything in position. Master Carpenter instructs me to get the drill.

Drill is on the worktop.

Miltilingual swearing fails to magically bring drill any closer.

Try reaching for drill. As my shoulders are braced on the floor this is less than effective.

As I flap about knocking things onto the floor, I’m just thinking it is fortunate that the customer isn’t seeing this, when they decide to come and check how we are doing…