An astronaut has to wear many hats. While I was on the space mission I was part time astronaut, mechanic, chef, doctor, botanist and therapist. A range of skills is required to fix various things when they go wrong including each other. Being back here on earth is a lot simpler, there’s a guy for everything! We recently had a problem with our kitchen sink. It appeared we had blocked drains, Melbourne is very different to the moon when it comes to fixing such a problem. My wife simply says, ‘oh darling, call a guy to fix that’. What she doesn’t realise is, I am that guy! After I investigated the blockage I realised one of the advantages of being back home is that although I could be that guy I do not have to be. I did not really fancy spending the da
y with my head down a blocked drain so I called in the pros. Up in the ship when there was a problem with the plumbing, whether it be in the main pipes or the taps I’d often spend hours at a time tweaking the system and testing the pressure. It was tedious work and so if I have the chance to hand it off to someone else I will. The plumbing on our house is fairly old so the drains tend to play up now and again and there is no system control panel to check for where the center of the problem is. When the guy arrived to do the drain unblocking, Melbourne city isn’t too far so he didn’t take long, I showed him the problem and told him I could help if he needed. He said he could see the problem straight away and I kindly advised my wife to stop throwing hot cooking oil straight into the sink. It’s funny, when I was up there among the stars I longed to deal with the day to day trivial domestic problems of life but now I am here I look up and dream of being returned to the skies.