Friday, April 08, 2005


I’ve always loved mending things. And the more improvisatory the fix, the better – especially when the only cost is time and skill. I find a lot of satisfaction in returning something to usefulness, transforming it from a worthless doorstop into fully-functioning form. It’s almost like bringing things back to life.

Mending appeals for many reasons – it appeals to my frugal nature, the avoidance of waste appeals to my environmental-consciousness; there’s even an almost spiritual appeal in allowing an artefact to fulfil its place in the world, instead of being thrown on the scrap-heap. But the reason I’m posting this, if I’m honest, is none of those - fixing things appeals also for the sheer sense of pride in skill creatively applied.

My daughter’s camera had stopped working – the film wouldn’t wind onto the take-up spool. Examination under a magnifying glass revealed that a tiny plastic hook that should protrude from the take-up spool to engage in the holes along the edge of the film had broken off. It was unlikely to be repairable economically (or indeed at all) by a repair shop, so there was nothing to be lost by having a go.

The copper-coloured speck dead-centre of this picture is my improvised replacement – a tiny barb fashioned from a piece of copper wire, super-glued into an equally tiny hole drilled in the spool. Amazingly, it seems to work, so I’m feeling rather pleased with myself. Not to mention that I'm also saving the cost of a replacement camera...

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