Tuesday 22 December 2020


 Lots of areas of knowledge have their own special vocabularies, and you don't know how ignorant of them you are until you need to talk to somebody. My mum is elderly and getting unstable on her feet so I have been putting up bannisters at her house. WRONG. It turns out that bannisters are complicated pieces of wood that sit on top of a line of spindles. I've been putting up handrails, screwed to the wall with right angle brackets. I needed to buy a length of suitable wood, round with a small flat on the bottom to screw the brackets on. I didn't do well at the timber merchant because I tried "bannister" and "handrail" and then a description of its purpose. I now know that that moulding is called "mopstick" and that it's cheap and easy to obtain in softwood. And that you are expected to know the name of what you're trying to buy.

Richard "Newel Post" B

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