NOTHING lifts the spirits as much as fixing things.
It might be a Sepp Blatter FIFA election. Or Australia's bid for the World Cup.
But it probably won't be Joe Hockey's latest clanger about first-home buyers, because some things seem beyond repair.
Like the economy, or the Liberal Party's ability to put their foot in it.
They might have their own fixer in Christopher Pyne.
But he's just a broken record.
What plays better for mere mortals like us is if we can fix little things, like our relationships.
Which gets me to my hedge trimmer.
It hasn't worked well for a long time.
Initially it was like a hot knife through butter.
The golden age of hedging.
But after severals seasons, that 20-hour rattler started cutting like a blunt shaver through thick stubble.
The darks days of not much fun up a ladder, cussing and sweating.
Which led directly to my impression that hedging was no longer much fun.
Despite my subtle attempts at camouflage, members of the inner circle began to notice I was avoiding hedging.
Things like the sequoia-sized hedge.
The fact my inner circle was noticing was good and bad.
Good in that they were paying attention to me. So heart-warming.
Bad in that the attention only concerned whether or not I was hedging.
Not long after about 5000 niggles came the accusation I was not paying attention to my responsibilities.
Which is not exactly true because I knew the hedge was literally casting a shadow.
The thing was it was extending metaphorically over domestic harmony and this can be a very dark place.
I was at a crossroad of give a damn.
And so like any great tradesman/samurai, I blamed my tool.
"If only the hedger worked properly."
To bastardise Sonny and Cher: It's not me, babe, it's the hedger.
We'd got to that point where a relationship needed fixing.
The issue of reasonable expectations raised its ugly head.
My lack of expectations about being able to repair my hedge trimmer was reasonable, based on a long track record of not being able to repair things.
I harken back to that day as a young teen with my flash cassette recorder.
In an effort to amplify the tinny sound, I ran 250 volts through the ear plug socket.
The smell of burning plastic reminds me to this day how fragile life can be.
I'd had the desire, but I didn't have the knowledge.
Like everything else I'd attempted to fix since, I knew the getting of wisdom would come at a cost in terms of time, frustration and remembering how to put together what I'd pulled apart.
Me sitting round imagining what the problem with the hedge trimmer might be wasn't going to get those hedges trimmed.
It would be cheaper financially, emotionally and in terms of time management to hit the hardware store and buy a replacement.
Cue lament about our throwaway society, the rise of China and the perception that Dick Smith is Dinki Di, based on the fact he made a fortune importing cheap Asian electronics and selling out to a giant American conglomerate. (Good luck to him.)
I knew I must go there if the sun was to shine again.
The hardware store I mean.
I'd barely announced I was off when Lady MacBeth suggested that rather than turn and run from the problem, like a coward, I do what any samurai oblivious to technical stuff does.
Look up YouTube.
It was a sensible suggestion, which was why I resented it so much.
More than likely YouTube would give me half an idea where to start, without any real guarantee of where it would end.
Except in tears.
Or more likely more cussing.
Deep down I hate being useless, but YouTube is informative when it comes to ideas about removing casings.
Thereafter you're on your own.
And so I was.
For about three hours, screwing and squinting and rubbing grease all over my body.
First, second and third attempts at repair all failed.
But the road to failure is the path of least persistence.
And on the fourth go I nailed something.
Whatever piece of bush mechanicry I did transformed that hedger from rattling piece of crap to Excalibur.
Nothing could stand in its way and, like the son of the land-clearing dairy farmer, I went on a hedging frenzy.
Exalting not only in the lack of resistance any vegetation showed.
But also the fact that I'd worked out what screw was loose and tightened it.
And I owed it all to the motivational exchanges I'd had with loved ones about repairing stuff and responsibilities.
The fix was in, I just never believed it was in me.