From a young age, there was something fascinating about identifying how something works – or how it didn’t – and assist to make it work or improve what it was already doing. I’ve a natural interest in to looking at how something functions and looking to understand what it is that makes it work, or what has stopped it working.
As a teenager I’d spend hours slaved over an old typewriter; a lovely typewriter with a cork roller and weighed about the equivalent of 8 laptops. I’d unscrew and remove the components, carefully seeing how they worked. I’d clean all the pulley mechanisms and with the pieces removed I’d clean the heavy cast iron frame. Over time I’d begin to replace and return the parts making sure each did their job. Made sure that the hammer was connected by its linkages to the key and that the mechanism worked smoothly. That any blockages or resistance were removed. Ensuring that as the key was pressed the hammer activated at the right time and made the correct impression on the page. Ensuring I left it working with better efficiency than before.
In later life I was interested when anything broke in the house. I’d wonder if I could fix it. I’d patiently worked through each area that wasn’t working – looking to identify its function. If needed to be cleaned or adjusted I’d adjust it so that it performed better. I wouldn’t take something apart that wasn’t necessary to making it work. Not wanting to explore where I didn’t need to. Once I’d fixed the area that needed attention, I’d test and watch to see that no other issues developed and if they did I’d then look to identify those too.