Playing the carpenter during the vacation (Summer tales 3/3)


Christian Life

Evert van Vlastuin, CNE.news

The dormers were waiting for some repair. Photo CNE.news

Sitting is the new smoking. That slogan is quite critical for a journalist who usually works from a desk and a chair: speaking, typing and –above all– sitting.

For that very reason, I have tried to organise my life so that I do more than sit. I have given up the old smoking and do not want to get addicted to the new. I use my bicycle to go to work and give the car as much rest as possible.

On Saturdays and during vacation, I put my old clothes on and try to spend as much time as possible outside. There are always some odd jobs to do or repairments.

It is different and adventurous. Digging the vegetable garden looks boring but is quite a challenge. And pruning the bushes looks like a job you can forget, but the following year you see that you cannot avoid it.

But I must admit that trimming the same bushes after eight seasons is not stimulating anymore. I am not a person for routine work. I have to do it, but actually, I need a challenge.

A bookshelf from my own design is still serving. Photo CNE.news

During the vacation, I try, therefore, to create something new. To do a job that I have not done before. Meeting a new challenge.

In the last couple of years, I have enjoyed playing the carpenter. I decided to do this when we bought our first house. It had to be renovated, and that job was done by my brothers-in-law, who are born carpenters and builders. I have learned a lot from that. After they left the place, I built a shed in the garden. The new owners of that house are still using it.

For our present house, I have always been actively making things. I made a bookshelf for the living room from a personal design. It is still hanging.

Semi-circular desk

With the growing family, I realised I had to do something about the pile of shoes in the hallway. The solution was a shoe rack. Every morning, I pick up my shoes from there. Very practical.

A semi-circular desk seemed much more practical to me than a squared one. Photo CNE.news

I have made a semi-circular desk for the small room I use as a study. Just below the window, so I always have daylight. Since I have the bad habit of filling my desk with books and paperwork, I gave myself a smaller worktable than the usual models. And since the corners of a square table take up a lot of space, I decided that a round model would fit better.

A shoe rack helps to keep the house tidy. Photo CNE.news

This year, I was obliged to do something about the dormers on the roof. The wooden edges were rotting. Together with a carpenter, I replaced the wooden parts. At some places, I decided to use some wood filler instead of replacing the boards.

After this, I painted everything. I had decided to change the dormer’s colour. It was almost white, and I thought it was too prominent. You could see the dormers from a long distance. I chose a dark colour that corresponds with the roof tiles. Painting on the roof is quite a challenge, as I know now.

Investing in the family

Working around the home is investing in your family. Not only because it is gratifying to make things you can use the whole year. But also, because your children see you are busy and what you are doing.

After eight seasons, pruning the same bushes is getting too much routine. Photo CNE.news

Especially when the kids are young, it is good to be together as a family. Perhaps they try to imitate you and start sowing, hammering and painting themselves. How stimulating is that! They learn that you need to put in an effort to reach a goal. That is very basic in the upbringing of children.



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