EDitorial ± 23-Jan-2006

Wish I Could Be Like Tom Watt

The outside world was Lost to me this weekend which was mostly spent pondering a hatch. At altitude, it's colder, provisions are few and you need to watch your footing. Pull up a seat while Mr Get A Man In attempts to fit a loft ladder.

Tried to remain undaunted by the many pages of instructions and the big bag o' bits when I peeled back the sellophane on Saturday morning. Remembering what Julie Andrews said - start at the very beginning - I gleaned that the first few steps were to ensure that the trapdoor would open downwards. Kind of a shame that ours pushes upwards. Oh dear, never mind, as the late Don Estelle was often told. And that was Saturday, battling with the re-hung hatch armed with chisel and sanding block. Trapdoor also turned out to be 15mm thicker than the recommended depth so catch couldn't work, so was secured overnight with a pin...

...which I needed to remove on Sunday morning with the pliers, sitting in my toolbox, in the loft. Get round that one.

Fair to middling progress once back in Rafterland, thanks a lot to some half-decent instructions and illustrations, a refreshing change. Held up temporarily by a broken drill bit, necessitating a new set of screw holes, but you can't make an omelette etc. Nevermind the copious refreshment stops and Sunday afternoon visitors. Meanwhile sent Eldest down to the paper shop for an Observer - inc. free DVD of Dune - only for her to return empty handed. They wouldn't sell it to me 'cos it's a 15 certificate, she said.

But there's always a catch, isn't there? Super frustrating to figure out that I could reduce the hatch width by 15mm to get it working, then not find the requisite nut & catch which I'd been cursing the day before. Downstairs? Under some junk in the loft? No, still in the bit-bag: couldn't see them for looking.

Final fitting tonight (pre Life On Mars), and seems to be working nicely. Though I may continue to limbo along the landing for the next week or so just in case the hatch decides to descend of its own free will.