Over the years we have lived in many dilapidated houses. During Stig's years as a student we rented houses that were in need of a lot of TLC in return for reduced rent.
Stig fancies himself as a bit of DIY whizz. He can turn his hand to anything; electrics, plumbing, wallpapering, shelving etc. He's a bit of a Jack-of-all-trades; knows a little about everything but an expert on nothing, except maybe farting, fixing aeroplanes, and making scrambled egg in the microwave.
When my friend arrived for her annual summer visit, dragging behind her the biggest suitcase I've ever seen - complete with broken wheel - Stig was called to action. He briefly pondered the wheel conundrum before inspiration struck and he dragged the offending suitcase off down our cellar. When he reappeared the suitcase had a shiny, new wooden wheel, yes that's right; a wheel made from a piece of wood.
Now my poor friend has to drag it around on her travels, drawing attention to herself and her freaky suitcase because it makes such a terrible racket as the wooden wheel rumbles along, creaking under the weight of the suitcase and its contents. My friend, despite the embarrassment, is quite chuffed with her suitcase and it apparently now has miles left in it.
The thing is, however bizarre Stig's methods are, he won't be beaten and he usually wins in the end. Hence the reason that our house may look like a DIY disaster zone, but everything works. Stig is always very quick to point this out when I bemoan the state of the curtain hooks made from key rings or the baby monitors that now look like they were used to bring Frankenstein to life. What he considers to be creative genius, the rest of us find bordering on the insane.
The kids broke the AV button on our TV recently. Not a problem to Stig, he carted the huge TV into the garage, dismantled it and commenced an intricate gluing masterclass. Unfortunately the glue was no match for Charlie's stabbing little fingers and it lasted all of five minutes before the AV button retreated into the innards of the vast TV once again.
Ever defiant at the prospect of defeat, Stig dragged the TV back to the garage. He coaxed the terrorised AV button out from hiding, and again glued it into place. It was left for several hours to set properly before being reintroduced the hell that is Hayes House living room. One shriek from Charlie and the AV button promptly cacked itself and fell off.
It was me who had to deliver the news to Stig. Expecting spontaneous combustion, I had the Argos catalogue to hand and had picked out a stonking new flat screen in preparation.
Of course the threat of my parting with a significant amount of cash horrified Stig even more than the demise of the AV button, and he left the house with an Arnie-like "I'll be back" (roughly translated as "Don't spend any bloody money while I'm gone").
I knew better than to expect him to return with a new telly, or any telly, but what he came back with was quite perplexing...
A brass doorbell.
Our living room TV is now in full working order. When you switch on the TV, you merely need to ring the doorbell that is fitted to the side of it, and presto, we're on the AV channel. I'm NOT kidding!