Plumbing is really easy. I mean, it can be, if you buy the bits that make it easy. Take radiator valves: they do this nifty, clever compression thing which means that you can connect a valve to a water pipe without welding, soldering, puttying or, most importantly, leaking. I understand how it works, too. At least, I understand how it says it works.

And yet, replacing a radiator valve today took an unprecedented four and half hours, and THREE (count ’em!) trips to B and Q. Don’t get the impression that I did all the work – I’ve done them in the past, but Kevin did this one, since my Dad had come to visit me. For some reason, the pipework refused to co-operate with the screw fixing on the valve, and he had to replace a bendy length of microbore with TWO straight pieces of 15mm pipe, resulting in an extra four compression joints.

Astonishingly, when he finally got it done, the only one to leak was the one connecting the actual valve, and a little PTFE tape fixed it.

It’s really easy. It’s just also utterly impossible.