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If you've got a throbbing head held in shaking hands, while a
pink elephant persuades you to tell your partner: "Go fix the
stupid tap yourself" when she demands you sort it, don't worry,
everything is entirely normal. Normal, that is, for a man who
enjoyed his New Year's Eve party the way most of us curiously
haven't since we got hitched. Or certainly since the kids came
Now enough of our memories and your hangover. Get a strong
coffee, your preferred painkiller and a quick shower, because
you're about to join the green revolution! No not because you've
been inspired by the recent Copenhagen Summit. Everyone knows
there's beggar all you can do about global warming. Rather it's
because 'going green' is the ultimate get out of jail free card for
all her DIY demands. The PC brigade will leave you alone too, plus
you might even save some cash too!
But first our penny's-worth on why 'Earth Summits' achieve
little. Andrew Leech, director of the National Home Improvement
Council said at Copenhagen 2009 that saving energy in the home is
at the forefront of fighting climate change. "If we don't do it
then we are in big trouble as far as the environment is concerned,"
Now look back 18 years to the first such summit in Brazil. Our
government's campaign slogan in 1992? 'Helping the Earth Begins at
Home.' Boy, that one really hit home, didn't it?
And nor will it until there's an obvious, real and instant pay
off for going green. Until then, most of us just want a quiet life.
The remaining few will be too busy going to parties where pink
elephants can be picked up to fit wind turbines on their patios. So
Instant benefit #1: Going green gives you a get
out of jail free card next time you're nagged to do any home
improvements (including leaky taps). What with all these Co2
emissions, ozone depletions and carbon footprints, you need to do
some serious research on the subject before tackling a complex task
like leaky taps. Better still, convince yourselves it would be best
to get in the professionals (no hard sell, any decent home
improvement company should suffice - the important thing is you
Instant benefit #2. You can actually save cash.
No really, real cash right now. And you'll convince your beloved
you're serious about this 'green' thing. Just start playing about
with your thermostat. Inevitably you'll be asked what you're doing.
Confidently reply: "Turning it down 1o deg., so saving us about 10%
on our heating bills and reducing our carbon footprint." Adopt a
distinctly adenoidal tone to add authenticity. She'll be well
Benefit #3. The joy of battering her with
science. This is as uplifting as when your team equalizes at a
vital away match in the 89th minute, prompting the home fans to
shut up and your lot to start singing: "It's all gone quiet over
there," etc. etc. For example, mention that insulating an
un-insulated loft will save £150 a year on average. Or, if you want
to get really technical, explain that spending a couple of hundred
quid on a new boiler, while paying for itself in the long run, will
also pump out 1.7 tonnes less CO2 a year. 1.7 tonnes less! Of gas?
Let's face it, thinking of any gas as weighing anything just goes
against 'common sense', let alone 1.7 tonnes of the stuff.
Benefit #4. When fitting a new boiler most of
us should really get in a Corgi registered engineer. In any case,
it's a good idea to have your boiler regularly serviced and, once
you've got a plumber in, getting him to fix a leaky tap would be so
relatively inexpensive as to make no odds and domestic harmony is
By now we hope your pink pachyderm has returned to your
imagination and is tip-toeing around inside your head in fluffy
slippers in an effort to keep your thumping headache to a minimum.
If so all should be well, but check there aren't any elephant-sized
holes in the skirting board just in case. If there are forget all
the above - just call a zoo and builder immediately. If not, then
be thankful for small mercies and let us wish you a Happy, and
elephant free, New Year!
Mavis began this week full of joy and fear in equal measure as
Friday's Xmas party drew near. She wasn't too old to strut he stuff
to some 70s song sensations and besides, there was the ultimate in
office interests just waiting to bloom: the Gemma & Jack love
Yet the cause of her joy was also that of her fear - Gemma's
boyfriend Gary. By all accounts he was a right nasty piece of work
who had counted more than his fair share of police cell bricks from
the wrong side of freedom. And why, if Gemma truly cared for Jack,
didn't she just get rid of him?
On the night of the party itself some, if not all, of these
questions would be answered. The first came in the large and nasty
form of Gary at the party. He stormed towards the couple. Jack
bravely told his workmates to sit down as they stood up to help.
Jack was half Gary's size but, as the brute raised a fist, a flurry
of practised moves had Gary on the floor begging to be let go as
Jack applied a painful arm lock as blood spouted from the bully's
nose. Jack was clearly a practitioner of some kind of "Wing Ching
Fooey" as Mavis called it.
So Jack was both a lover and a fighter. For that night
at least Jack and Gemma (not to mention Mavis) could enjoy their
growing affection. So a happy ending? Or just the beginning of more
thrills for Mavis and her trolley? Time would surely tell….
DUing.IT: The story so far…
If you want the low-down on a company, forget espionage, nabbing
the accounts and suchlike, the person who knows all the really
juicy stuff is the Tea Lady! Ours is called Mavis and if you want
know who is doing what - and to whom - she's the lady to sit down
with, have a cuppa and gossip. You'll go away stunned at what goes
on behind the doors of DU.IT, the London Handyman &
Building Services company! And don't worry if you miss a posting or
two as we'll keep you up to date on the goings on here at the Mavis
Just DUing.IT page on the main DU.IT blog site. You can even have a
chinwag direct by replying to Mavis's postings on Twitter.com
(Duitbldg). So have tea, have fun, but above all have a
gossip you naughty thing you!
Are those sleigh bells we hear through the gently falling snow?
Is the fire ablaze at home, a nice fat goose in the larder and a
tangerine-coloured PS3 250GB (custom made) in tiny Tim's stocking?
No, it's Xmas and it often goes like this….
The weather's milder than in April, only wetter. According to
Pete Pessimist (divorced three times) the only frostiness on
December 25th is found in the familial relationship. All
that's needed now is an accident needing a trip to A&E. So you
check out the Royal Society for the Protection of Accidents (ROSPA)
for advice and what's the first sentence you see? CAN THE
HOME EVER BE SAFE?
Whoa! I just want some Xmas safety tips, not my undies
redecorating! With money tight you go to Money Watch, the online
personal finance blog - so how come the fist item you read is on
how 200,000 of us end up in A&E during Xmas thanks to DIY
accidents? And as a festive tipple elicits a faint smile, Money
Watch informs us 16% of DIY ends in £600 worth of damage, while
according to insurers Allianz, many home and contents policies
don't cover these claims!
At this point many would consider jumping off a bridge. But hold
on Tiger, I think we can take all this depressing advice, turn it
on its head and come out a winter winner!
Start by deciding what home improvement would most please your
beloved. Then find someone reliable to do it. We say that not
just because that's our business. First, those figures of
DIY disasters are true, including the one about lack of insurance
cover. Above all, as the great Noddy Holder said: "It's
Christmaaaaaaaaas!" So the only tool you want to be holding is
a bottle opener. This way your wife gets a nice surprise and
crosses off an item of her list of things to nag you about and you
have fun. Remember that?
Above all, don't do what a guy we know called 'John' did (names
changed to protect the guilty.) 'John' hires a couple of tilers to
retile the heart of any home, the kitchen. It just so happens his
tilers were Jehovah's Witnesses and, as a result they don't
celebrate Xmas. Why, they'd even tile your kitchen on Xmas day if
you were dumb enough to ask them!
Only what John didn't ask is that the job be done well ahead of
the big day. So come the night of the 24th, the job
wasn't done. And yes, 'John' was dumb enough to ask the tilers back
on Xmas without a word to his family
They made a neat job of the tiles. If only the same could be
said of the turkey and trimmings served a 2 o'clock… a.m. Suffice
to say 'John' and wife have gone their separate ways.
Now as they say on Crimewatch, such disasters are very
rare, so please don't have nightmares. And as even the ROSPA advice
sheet writes, have fun. So from all of us at DU.IT, we
wish you a very merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year -
© 2013 DU.IT Building & Handyman Services Phone: 0800 612 9593 - Email: