We went out for a walk yesterday afternoon, and when we got back, the bathroom door was stuck fast. It wasn’t locked, but the latch had jammed. I wiggled it and jiggled it and banged it and rattled it – we all did, we were queueing up to have a go – Let me have a try! – but all to no avail.
What had seemed like a little, random happening was turning into an actual… thing.
I did what any modern householder does. I appealed to my Facebook friends for help. We tried all their ideas (we’d already done them all, but we tried again, stopping short of the sledgehammer suggestion).
We went to bed exhausted from all the trying.
This morning I looked at Checkatrade and rang the top rated locksmith. Amazingly, he was ‘just getting someone back into their house’, just round the corner. He came within the hour. I was quite nervous that we were just being silly, and that there was no real problem, but he tried the door. He wiggled it and jiggled it and banged it and rattled it, and confirmed that in fact, we were lost. I was relieved we had judged it worth his call out charge (a bit like the time when I actually said Hurray! when told in A & E the arm was indeed broken).
Out came his tools. The simplest jobs always turn out to be the most complicated, he told me, and so it was. He had to use: a drill, a hammer, a chisel, a set of thin wire keys all in different shapes, many screwdrivers, pliers, and a box of random bits of metal. He did lots of the work with his eyes closed, feeling his way.
In the end he asked my permission to jemmy off the door frame slightly. I was in the kitchen at this point, head in hands, imagining that the bathroom would have to be a time capsule forever, eternally stopped at 3.30pm on February 26th 2017. I went upstairs to watch the doorframe being destroyed. None of it; he eased it this way, that way… there was a glimpse of a broken latch… he reached in and flipped it upwards, and the door swung open!
I threw my arms in the air and shouted Hallelujah! (And in my head, I said Do not hug him, do not hug him. Because I sometimes do want to hug people, and this was the wrong situation.) He rocked back onto his heels and we laughed and laughed.
Best £75 I ever did spend.
He showed me an old, brass door mechanism from his van. Look at the work in that, he said, It will never fail. He said modern door handles are rubbish.
We have 10 of them!
How will I ever close a door again?