Dad’s always got a renovation project on the burner. That’d be all well and good, except that he’s not anywhere near as good at building as he thinks he is. His heart is in the right place, though, which makes it hard to bring it up.

He’s currently working on the kitchen cabinets. I’m all for him trying his hand at carpentry, if that’s what he wants to do, but the results so far can best be described as a rickety mess. “Just don’t lean on the counter and it’ll be fine,” was his response to my sister’s remark that the new shelves don’t look up to the task of holding much more than a couple of saucers, let alone a rack of cookware. I’m inclined to agree with her – the shelves appear to be held up purely by the force of dad’s determination.

The thing is, I think dad actually has a strong vision for the kitchen. I can see where he’s going with it, and I like it – I just don’t think he’s going to get there on his own, at least not any time in the next decade. If he’d just recruit a professional kitchen renovator, he’d be able to have his custom cabinet arrangement just as it appears in his mind’s eye, rather than this sloppy stand-in.

There are heaps of things that dad’s good at – finance, maths, reciting poetry, selecting fine wines, giving advice. Those things come naturally to him, so perhaps he thinks that kitchen renovations should too. The standard of contemporary kitchen designers Melbourne homeowners are so besotted with, though, doesn’t just materialise out of thin air.

On the upside, I think dad might be gradually coming around. I saw him muttering to himself the other day when he snagged his dressing gown on a bent nail while boiling the kettle, and later I caught him searching for professional kitchen installation services online. Granted, though, he may have just been scanning their websites for pro tips on sanding.