This week has seen its fair share of problems.
On Saturday the washing machine decided to spin at a snail’s pace, leaving me to wring out the last load and hang it to, literally, drip dry. The mechanic came on Monday morning but conldn’t repair it. He needs to order a part and it could take several weeks. There is now a mountain of washing waiting to be done and, despite the fact that ours is only two months old, the lady on ‘After Sales Service’ was adamant that she could not let us have a machine on loan till Friday.
On Sunday the boiler packed up again, and although I rang the plumber and spoke to his wife, I made it plain I wouldn’t expect him to turn out on a Sunday. He came on Monday, at the same time as the washing machine man, got the boiler going and asked us to keep an eye on it. He wouldn’t even take any payment this time!
On Monday, Pascal came to do some tiling in the new loo. He used the first packet of tiles and then called me.
“There’s a problem.” It seems the other three packets were not the same as the ones he had used. They were just a tiny bit longer and wider but it was enough to put the whole pattern out.
“I’ll have to take them all off again and use the odd packet for the shelves.” said Pascal.
“Oh, no!” I groaned inwardly. More mess, more time, more expense. Wasn’t there another way round it?
Pascal was not too keen on undoing his work either, so he had an idea: cut the tiles square and make one row of diagonal halves before continuing with the new size. I just hope it’s going to work. . . . .
So, what about our visitors then?
Well, what with dust from the ‘building site ‘ in the toilet and the dirty washing piling up, I gave up on having a pristine house and my sister and family weren’t bothered in the slightest.
We contrived to sit the boyfriend next to Bear for the evening meal and the poor lad looked a bit startled. Bear was very friendly and chatty and, apparently, my brother-in-law confessed to the joke that night. (see end of previous post).
However, Bear did make a scene when we decided to go to Reims. Roger (brother-in-law) and Jay had arranged to take everyone in their cars as Jay knows his way round well. So when Bear mentioned washing the dust off his car I explained that we wouldn’t be needing it.
“I’m not going in Jay’s car” protested Bear. “I didn’t think they were coming with us. I’m not going if they are.”
“Excuse me,” said Wendy, (my sister), “I do want to go with them. I came here to see my family and we don’t see each other very often. You’re welcome to come along as well, but if you don’t want to, then stay here.” This is not the first time Wendy has dealt one of Bear’s outbursts. I wish she lived nearer!
Bear subsided visibly, and sat hunched in his armchair. Later he gave me a 20 euro note.
“Would you mind buying me some postcards from Reims,” he asked cheerfully.
So we had a really pleasant afternoon exploring the shops and coffee bars and visiting the cathedral. Jay pushed Whale in his wheelchair and we didn’t hear one complaint about his sore behind.
When we got home Bear was in a state. The nurse had turned up (late) to see Whale and he (Bear) hadn’t realised that we’d taken him with us.
Also, he’d discovered that the battery in his car had given up the ghost. He wouldn’t ‘be beholden’ to Jay so poor Roger was persuaded to drive him to get a new one this morning and he kindly changed it for him as well.
Bear decided that as a ‘thank-you gesture’ he would take all four of them (Wendy, Roger, my niece and her boyfriend) on one of his scenic tours this afternoon. They were all feeling a bit nervous about his driving but they bravely accepted.
“We’ll get him out of your hair for a couple of hours”, said Wendy.