Did a useful bit of 'Bodgerneering' at the weekend. It involved a bit of drilling, some bending in a vice and I got along okay by just using some bits and bobs that I found lying around in the garage. So all it took to keep my lawnmower alive for another season was some bolts and an old gate hinge.
I’ve been told for the last 15 years that my mower should be dead by now. One major reason why it is still alive, though, is the Honda engine that I plumbed in some time ago. All the other parts can come and go; or they just need to be lashed up and fixed as and when.
Although it was cold on the garage floor, I’ve never been happier searching through my big tub of random nuts and bolts. I know I moaned a few weeks ago about having an old car and how rubbish they are, but it's been fun messing around with some old machinery. I’ve done a few jobs, unbolted a few things, drilled some holes and generally mucked about and it’s been wonderful.
So thinking about the parlous state of our education system, where we seem to be 25th in various world league tables, I don’t remember seeing in any of the latter where it was we stood in terms of wood or metalwork.
Such subjects are important, because they're about making stuff; but apart from a bit of design and technology, which seems to mean just about anything these days, there are precious few hands-on subjects that are currently studied at school.
Now engineering is often mentioned as being something that the UK is a bit terrible at compared to the rest of the world, but we do need to start somewhere. So I would like to suggest a bit of 'Bodgerneering'. It should start with trying to put up a shelf, but could move on to more complicated tasks.
Obviously this sort of thing should start at home, but there is precious evidence that it is. I was lucky enough to have a dad who could actually rewire and replumb a house. So I was always surrounded by tools and actually knew what a rawlplug did.
So who’s with me on this? The bodger was a very skilled member of the community and we need the ability to fix things, then perhaps we can move on again to actually make things once more.