Pascal rang on Friday evening to say he’d be round on Saturday.
Wow, we might get a full day’s work done!
His 8 o’clock arrival was more like 25 past and he has come to expect a coffee laced with whisky before embarking on his labours.
By lunchtime he was saying he hoped to finish by the evening.
But – during the afternoon there were sounds of swearing. He came to find me, looking a bit sheepish.
“You have got more of those pink tiles in the attic haven’t you?”
Now the pink tiles were left over from a previous job (by the original owner) and Pascal had calculated that there were enough to do the top part of the walls. As it was no longer possible to buy more I had chosen blue for the lower half and ‘shelves’ with a pink and blue freize in between – also left overs found in the attic.
I distinctly remember suggesting to Pascal that if there was a danger of running out of pink tiles, maybe he could do a second row of freize and finish with blue again at the top.
“No, I’ve counted them. There will be enough.” he said, dismissively.
Now it was a different story. He was three short. And he had used up all the frieze to decorate the shelves.
We searched the attic in vain for matching pink tiles.
“I thought you had counted them.” I ventured.
Yes, but he hadn’t taken into account the fact that the
understairs cupboard new loo is not symmetrical and therefore the left side is longer than the right side.
“Well, we’ll just have to finish off with blue”. I said.
Pascal was all for ripping off the top row from the other side as well but as that would involve lots of cutting minute fragments to fit I couldn’t bear the thought of all that extra time and mess (and money).
“Non!” I protested. “We’ll live with it. People won’t notice.”
Pascal gave an exhasperated shrug and muttered something about “Vous anglais….”
At least, by 5.30 the tiling was finished and he graciously gave me the opportunity to clean all the mess off the walls and floor while he washed his tools in the garage.
(Bear is, at this moment, trying to unblock the sink which is solid with a kind of concrete resulting from that little operation).
Pascal then spent quite a long time repairing the flush mechanism when he put the toilet back. (I’m convinced it stopped working as a result of his constant removing it to the garage).
It was then time for an ‘apero’ of beer and whisky before he wandered off home.
“I’ll be back to do the grouting.” were his parting words.
Pity he didn’t say when that might be.