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Tripping and dribbling

Maggie's text read that Laurel and Hardy were in our flat. They agreed with us that it was the water heater that was the problem. As I type a different double act are wreaking havoc in our kitchen. There's a puddle of rusty water on the floor, the shelves have been dismantled and jars of chickpeas and jelly sweets are spread across all the kitchen work-surfaces whilst the body odour of one of the men is assailing my nostrils even though he's at least ten metres and three rooms away. One of the great delights of rented property is that someone else will be paying. I reckon the tank alone will be about 450€ without the comedy duos time. It's not really our concern how ham fisted the tradesmen are as long as it all goes back together, more or less as before and that it all works in the end.

It'll be better when they've gone though. For the past few days, the circuit breakers in the house have been tripping at the most inopportune times. Alarm clocks that don't ring, lost programme information and tepid showers have been the order of the day.

One of my oldest friends came to stay with us during Holy Week. We'd told him how good the Easter processions were in Cartagena so he got out his credit card and bought the plane ticket. More or less as soon as he arrived we abandoned him and went to Gran Canaria. That's why we're still friends. We try to keep out at least one national boundary, if not an international one, between us. We kept in touch though. When he asked me about the water heater in the flat I wondered what he was doing wrong. When I spoke to him it was obvious that it wasn't anything to do with him - just sheer chance. He was having to put up with the fuses blowing in a bothersome sort of way. One advantage of them not really being fuses but circuit breakers is that you can just push them back until they hold steady so both he and us have been able to get an intermittent supply of hot water.

When we got back from holiday Maggie told our landlord and he behaved as all good landlords do and  leapt into action. Five days later and the electricians of yesterday sent the plumbers of today. The electricians said that the water tank was leaking and the dribbling water was shorting out the electrics - that's why we needed a new tank.

I can't understand a word that these two blokes are saying, mainly because they are speaking in Spanish, though I can pretend that it has something to do with them having quite strong accents. It doesn't stop them speaking to each other. I marvel that blokes who spend all day together still have something to talk about other than the practicalities of the job but they are just nattering away about this and that. They've just finished and I gave them a few euros as they left a very British habit that always surprises Spanish workmen.

The kettles on, the hot water's on and we haven't had to reset the breakers. Excellent stuff.


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