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Bring back hanging

November 30, 2009

After five seconds, I put down DH’s old hammer and finally admitted it out loud: “I miss you.” I was talking to the nail.

I’ve finally found my single-life Nememis. After coping brilliantly for almost two months as a Woman Without a Man, I’ve found the one thing I need DH for. And no, it’s not what you’re thinking – although it does involve banging.

Pictures! I can’t hang pictures. I thought it’d be simple. Picture, nail, hammer, sorted. Yes? No. DH used to get all “Woman, know your place” about DIY chores, and I’d roll my eyes and quote Feminist sayings at him while he wafted round self-importantly with a tape-measure and a spirit-level. If I even looked like I was heading towards the toolbox, he’d leap up and stand in front of it with his arms out like a Policeman guarding a crime scene.

So I was quite excited when I grasped his large, bulbous-headed tool in my hands for the first time since he left and smashed it against the wall, singing “R-E-S-P-E-C-T!”

After five seconds, I put down the hammer and finally admitted it: “I miss you.” I was talking to the nail.

I need my home to look like I’ve been living an arty, creative life for the past 38 years, not just wanking about on my PC all day, eating Dairylea

My vision for my house was an arty, creative space. Pictures hanging everywhere, all collected in scintillating little groups, like cliques at an amazing Jay Jopling party. Illustrations over there, all jewel-coloured and glowing. Framed articles I’ve written over here, all smug and syndicated. Book covers, photographs, poems…

I was trying to achieve this lifelong art collection in two days, as I hope to start inviting men back to the house soon and need it to look like I’ve been living an arty, creative life for the past 38 years, not just wanking about on my PC all day, eating Dairylea.

So I grabbed a handful of glossy magazines and colour supplements out of the recycling bin and tore out my favourite pictures. (This is better than you’d expect – I got a lot of nice things.) I printed out a favourite Shel Silverstein poem onto watercolour paper and did a rapid sketch. I found some lovely photos of the boys and an Observer feature all about me! (I blurred the date so you can’t tell it’s from 2002), and then I shoved the whole lot into frames.

Leaning against the walls, they looked awesome. But then, I tried to hang them up.

Rather than witty groupings of illustrations, I’ve got morbid clusters of bloody thumbprints

I’ve had to rapidly revise my vision for this house. Now it’s not so much “arty collections” of pictures, but “lethal landslides of suicidal frames which will hurl themselves down from walls if next-door’s mouse so much as farts”. Rather than witty groupings of illustrations, I’ve got morbid clusters of bloody thumbprints. The frames aren’t hung where they catch the eye, they’re flung where they hide the brutally exposed plasterboard.

So, great job! Now can I not only never invite any sighted men back here for fear of terrifying and/or decapitating them, I can’t ever let DH back in either. He will take one look at this motley gallery and realise that there is a massive hole in my life, and my walls, since he buggered off. He’ll think that actually, I needed him more than I’d ever have admitted.

And you know what? He’ll have nailed it.

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