Injury Time

Bookcase wip 3 Wm


It’s coming on..


But the eagle eyed will have spotted that something’s changed from here. The plywood that we had bought for the backs of the units was deemed too warped, leaving gaps that would have looked unsightly. Mike is determined that this will be a proper job. The local builders’ merchant was supposed to be delivering replacement MDF. Late morning they had said. And all morning we stayed at home.


Bookcase wip 4 Wm


Time to work on the piece of wood that will form the top of the bookcase.


But by 4.00 p.m., even allowing for Devon time, ‘late morning’ was getting a little stretched. A call needed to be made. “Ah, we’ve had some grief, we’ll have to deliver tomorrow.” Grrrr. No sooner had Mike put down the phone, the intercom from the gate rang loud and clear. Five 8′ x 4′ sheets of MDF now need carrying down the 84 steps. It is starting to get dark. And threatening rain. “Two at a time” Mike says optimistically. Until we find we can barely lift one.

 The sitting room has descended into chaos again, with the large pile of MDF having to rest flat on the floor. It didn’t do much for the irritating cough I’ve had for over a week now. Nor Mike’s sciatica come to that. The next morning his leg is so painful he can hardly walk and a trip to the doctor is called for. Our GP cuts quickly to the chase. It was the drilling of all those little holes for the shelf supports that has done it. “Knees are not meant for kneeling on, you know…”

So not sciatica after all. Inflammation of the prepatellar bursa. Housemaid’s Knee. My offer to buy him a frilly pinny, in the French style, not exactly well received.


2017-11-08T20:10:02+00:00January 14th, 2013|Tags: |


  1. Sue January 14, 2013 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    Will your walls be able to ‘breathe’ behind all that wood or is this wall part of the modern part of the house?

    Lovely Hubby has had knee problems like that (and did not take too kindly to the offer of the frilly pinny!! ) so now he is the proud owner of knee pads, that I have to remind him every time he’s kneeling for long periods to put on 🙂

    • Jessica January 14, 2013 at 1:38 pm - Reply

      It’s a plasterboard liner wall, but there’s quite a gap between the wood and the ‘wall’ in any case, so it gets ventilation. Helpfully the plasterboard is not straight! It’s because there’s no strength in the wall that we had to have a stand alone bookcase – all the weight is carried by the floor.

      Mike now has knee pads too!

  2. haggiz January 14, 2013 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    It’s bad enough being injured, but you would think they could think of something a bit more manly to call it than ‘housemaids knee’. Have you posted a photo previously of the infamous 84 steps, I would love to see them! Julie x

    • Jessica January 14, 2013 at 5:36 pm - Reply

      Apparently Housemaid’s Knee is more common in men than women, but the link to women scrubbing floors has stuck!

      The steps do a right hand turn in the middle, to the obvious delight of removal men and shifters of large sheets of MDF. Links: Bottom and top.

  3. Sue January 14, 2013 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    Knees are not really fit for purpose. A design flaw in the human body if ever there was one.

    • Jessica January 14, 2013 at 5:50 pm - Reply

      So true. And so easy to scrape falling off your bike. I still have the scars.

  4. Denise January 14, 2013 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    DIY has started here………can you see me smiling? No? Wonder why? lol!

    • Jessica January 14, 2013 at 5:52 pm - Reply

      It WILL be worth it, it WILL be worth it…

  5. Em January 14, 2013 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    Why is DIY never simple? Since our dry rot outbreak, the newly restored kitchen is still lacking a length of plinth. Can I find one the right colour without a four hour round trip to Ikea in Bristol? I can’t. My thoughts are with you both. Knee-pads are brilliant!

    • Jessica January 14, 2013 at 6:12 pm - Reply

      Having easy access to the big stores is one of the things I miss about living up country. Thanks Em.

  6. Jill Chandler. January 14, 2013 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    Oh woe! Why is nothing ever straight forward. Dont know why I asked that, because it never is. Hope matters improve sooner rather than later.

    • Jessica January 14, 2013 at 6:14 pm - Reply

      No, it never is. Thanks Jill.

  7. Simone January 14, 2013 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    Poor Mike! He doesn’t have to call in to work and say he has Housmaids knee, does he?!!!

    • Jessica January 14, 2013 at 6:22 pm - Reply

      Thankfully not! If he did I suspect he would be using the medical terminology and hoping the boss didn’t google it.. 🙂

  8. Susan Tattersall January 14, 2013 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    I don’t know about kneeling, we don’t fare very well at standing upright either. The bookshelves are coming along a treat. Deep bookshelf envy here.

    • Jessica January 14, 2013 at 6:28 pm - Reply

      Thanks Susan. They are coming on, slowly but surely! Having a few days of drier weather helps too, for all the cutting and planing that has to be done outside.

  9. Rosie January 14, 2013 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    Oh, no – not housemaid’s knee – very painful! Coughing whilst climbing steps clutching MDF sheets not good either. Hope you both feel better soon:)

    • Jessica January 14, 2013 at 9:39 pm - Reply

      Thanks Rosie. We have to.. plenty more to do!

  10. where the journey takes me January 14, 2013 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    I dread the wood order arriving – it is always heavy, gives you splinters and takes up sooooo much room then remains in a heap until my better half decides he needs to buy just the right screw, nails, tool etc to make it into whatever it was we ordered it for! Why don’t they make a universal screw and nail for everything!
    I think Knee pads are very fetching someone should make some designer ones.

    • Jessica January 14, 2013 at 9:41 pm - Reply

      Co-ordinating Farrow and Ball colours maybe?

      • where the journey takes me January 15, 2013 at 6:34 pm - Reply

        An appropriate one would be colour 40 – Mouse’s Back!

        • Jessica January 15, 2013 at 7:23 pm - Reply

          In that case we also need 240 – Cat’s Paw
          And failing that, 214 – Arsenic!

          • where the journey takes me January 16, 2013 at 6:35 pm

            I did see the Arsenic and thought of you – not sure if you mean it for the mice or when Mike loses the will to live!!

          • Jessica January 16, 2013 at 7:27 pm

            I do actually have a matchpot. Mike wanted a green study, so I got it for a joke.. wasn’t it arsenic in the wallpaper that finished off Napoleon?
            But in the end we decided the colour was a bit too strident!

  11. Anne January 14, 2013 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    Perhaps your next project should be some sort of stairlift! If I have to kneel on a hard surface, I use my gardening kneeling mat. Hope you both recover from your woes soon

    • Jessica January 14, 2013 at 9:52 pm - Reply

      I favour the garden kneeling mat too… knee pads are a bit too cumbersome on my short legs!

  12. BadPenny January 14, 2013 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    ooh ouch – husband gets sore shoulders so I call it Sailors’ shoulder !

    • Jessica January 14, 2013 at 9:57 pm - Reply

      I’m not sure what I have… gardener’s everything?

  13. CherryPie January 14, 2013 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    I hope you are both feeling better soon. That cough seems to be doing the rounds, everyone at work is coughing too.

    • Jessica January 14, 2013 at 10:42 pm - Reply

      Yes, it’s the cold and the damp I suppose. Hope you keep clear of it Cherie.

  14. young at heart January 15, 2013 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    oh bless……he kneeds a big cushion to kneel on!!

    • Jessica January 15, 2013 at 7:15 pm - Reply

      He does!

  15. Annie @ knitsofacto January 15, 2013 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    My other half suffers too … he tells people it’s all the housework I make him do, the fibber.

    The teeny store room into studio project is exhausting me … I can only be in awe of those who take on a whole house!

    • Jessica January 15, 2013 at 7:20 pm - Reply

      It is totally exhausting, I know just what you mean!

  16. elaine January 15, 2013 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    I know the feeling of having a husband with bad knees – everytime mine kneels down to put another log in the woodburner he groans and says oo my knees. I hope the bookshelves turn out ok after all your troubles.

    • Jessica January 15, 2013 at 11:48 pm - Reply

      This project was supposed to help us keep fit and healthy. I’m beginning to wonder! Thanks Elaine.

  17. BadPenny January 16, 2013 at 8:26 am - Reply

    I’ve just re read this & remembered the time when husband was replacing all the newly varnished floorboards on the yacht he was skipper of. He’d done a lovely job with the varnishing ( I always joke that he’d varnish me if he could ! )

    We lived in Spain & the owners of the yacht were due in from America. Poor husband drooped one heavy floor board on his toe & had to go to hospital. Once back ewith broken toe taped up, he hurried to lay the rest of the boards. I was home with baby Jessica when I realised the clocks had changed & we had to put them forward – we had lost an hour !!! I rang husband with the bad news !

    ( The boat owners were very sympathetic )

    • Jessica January 16, 2013 at 9:37 am - Reply

      Oh no! Thank goodness the owners understood!
      Professionally varnished nails wouldn’t be so bad.. ?

I'd love to hear from you..