can laugh at himself because yesterday I was given another one of those "never trust a male when he says he has checked" lessons. The night before he could not get his shed door to shut. His shed, that double garage which went up on the property before the house was built, is still an immensely important part of his life.
His shed houses all the timber he still has and makes my yarn stash look miniscule. There are all the bits of machinery which go with serious woodworking and manufacturing of magic apparatus skills. There are screws and nails and tins of paint and glue and things he has saved like an old typewriter (because "the bits might come in useful one day") and lengths of wire and pieces of perspex and.... I could go on.
There is far too much in his shed. It is scarcely possible to get in and out. He's happy there. He loves his shed with a passion and, even at 92, he can work there for hours.
But, sometimes things go wrong. I could hear a screeching noise the previous evening and went out to investigate. The sliding door would not slide.
"Something must be blocking it," I told him.
"No. I've looked with a torch. There's nothing there."
I should have known better at that point but I took his word for it and told him to leave the shed open. Nobody was going to be able to get in without me hearing the noise as it was partly shut. Anyone going in was going to have to open it wider than that.
He rang a younger mate who sometimes does things the Senior Cat can no longer do.
"I'll be around tomorrow evening. Just leave it until then."
The Senior Cat sighed heavily about not being able to do it himself. He had to go out yesterday morning but his mate turned up. He couldn't get another job done so he had called in on the off-chance someone was home.
I didn't need to leave for my meeting quite then so we went to investigate.
He pushed. He pulled. He frowned.
"Can we get the other door open?" he asked. (There are actually two doors which slide across one another but one is rarely used.)
It wasn't locked so he pulled it open and looked in and then burst out laughing.
"Look," he told me.
The handle on the door of a cupboard which faces outwards had swung open. It was blocking the sliding door. He shut the cupboard door and yes, the sliding door slid along the runner just as it should have done. He secured the handle while I went and made him a cup of tea. He also looked at the fence on one side. It needs to be replaced and he will do the job later this year.
"What do we owe you?" I asked as he left. After all, this sort of thing is his livelihood.
"Nothing," he said, "Just don't tell my wife because she would get a damn good laugh out of it too - at my expense."
No, she is most unlikely to read this.