Spirit levels. Those things with a little bubble centred at the mid point along a length of metal. Portugal has them, I’ve seen them in the shops but that’s about the only place I’ve seen them. I’ve not seen them used in Portugal and my house is a testament to that. If I had a flood, I’d be safe because the water would flow across the floors and out through the overly large gap at the base of doors at various points.

I like my spirit levels and have many. They provide information that say, no, it ain’t straight. In my living room I have four walls, a ceiling and floor. How very obvious – I’m so observant. Now imagine a big box that has been left out in the rain for a week and then permitted to dry to a wonky state. That’s my living room. The ceiling varies in height by 30mm. The floor 15mm between one corner and another and to make things worse, there is a 5mm hump at one point. One wall from top to bottom has/had a difference of 35mm and then there is the bulge in the middle of another. Sounds terrible. No it’s not, it’s a good house, just a little wonky. Correction, a lot. Wonky can be beautiful but it needs to be the correct kind of wonky to have appeal.

I have this mental attitude where if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well and so, the torturous job of levelling, straightening and flattening everything began. Inaccuracies to me are like a disease which eats away at me and needs rectification to the point of complete precision and only at that point will I be satisfied. My thinking is excessive I know, but that’s me and at times, I say to myself, this is not a Swiss watch requiring such precision where I continue to persecute myself for endless hours until the bubble is where it must be.

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