OK, so one of the things that I do with my time is fix stuff. I do it because I enjoy it. There is something very satisfying in taking something that used to work but doesn’t anymore, diagnosing the problem and fixing it. I’ve always done this. It probably started with me as a kid, breaking one of my toys and safe in the knowledge that I wasn’t going to get a replacement, if I wanted to continue playing with it, I was going to have to fix it. My guess is that initially this involved a lot of glue (glue fixes things; well known fact) applied extremely liberally and by the end of the operation not only could it be considered a complete failure, but my mother would then have to work out how to clear up the mess I’d made. Soon after mastering the restrained application of glue to fix stuff I would have progressed to fixing things that weren’t broken, but had been supplied to me in kit form and required assembly. Same basic skillset, but now you have to imagine what this will look like once in one piece as you’ve never seen in that way before. This will become very useful in later life when I started fixing things for other people and they were brought to me already broken and so guessing how they went together was a necessary skill.
Later still I progressed to servicing things and upgrading them. These usually require some level of disassembly, changing one or more parts and then reassembly. My bikes were taken apart many times before I eventually moved onto cars and anything else I could get my hands on.
Before long one of my oft heard cries was “I’ll have it” when someone had broken something and was about to throw it away. This gave me the chance to have a working example of said item, provided that I could get it apart, diagnose, find parts, fix and put it back together again. Many times I failed but not always.
So now, I’ve been fixing stuff for decades. I still make models. I still service my push bike but I confess that servicing cars has be abandoned as it’s far too complex and always requires specialist tools which I don’t have.
So in 2019, about six months before the world went to hell in a hand cart, I joined a group of like minded individuals in starting up a Repair Cafe in my home town. Since then we’ve started another in the next
town city (sorry) over and both are going great guns. If you don’t know what these are, then it’s pretty simple to explain. You get together a few volunteers and find a space willing to let you occupy it for a few hours once a month. Then you do everything you can to get the word out and at the allotted time and place, you and the volunteers come along with whatever tools you can drag with you and the public bring in things for you to fix and you try and fix them. You won’t be able to fix everything, but you’ll be surprised at how many you generally can. People bring in everything you can thing of, but the most common items are vacuum cleaners, toasters, kettles, kids toys, clothes (zip replacement etc) and cuckoo clocks. We all have a great time and with the notable exception of steam irons, we have something like a 60% success rate.
But back home, I just continue to make models and fix my own and occasionally my neighbours stuff. However, my neighbour one side is a farmer and these are what he has just brought over for me to fix. Wish me luck.