Eugene is my latest BFF (as in Best Friend Forever - you have to admit I do keep up with the times. Or is this now old hat?)
Anyway, whatever, Eugene arrives at our front
door promptly at 9.30 a.m. He is here to take Mr B through a series of exercises which will hopefully improve his precarious balance and get him walking again. As physiotherapists go, Eugene is among the Most Obliging. If we had the pick of physiotherapists,
we would almost certainly choose Eugene.
I say it must be rather enjoyable, visiting people in their own homes, rather than being stranded in a hospital physiotherapy department. Eugene says this is mostly
true, depending on what the people he is visiting are like. It is especially rewarding, he confides, when you are visiting nice people. Mr B and I glow with pride, having immediately decided that we must have been placed in the category of "nice people." It
is possible that we may have misinterpreted the signs but we don't think so. And Eugene would be far, far too sweet to disillusion us.
I am wondering who has the most difficult job: Eugene, whose job is to
get Mr B moving, or the Man From Bosch who is coming to see us next week to get our washing machine moving. There are few things more annoying than being without the services of a washing machine. Our machine does work, in its fashion, in its way, but when
it reaches the spin cycle it makes the most horrendous noise, as if it is going to jump right out of its casing and blow up in our faces. Mr B says I mustn't use it anymore so today I had to wash all my laundry by hand, wring it out and then hang it, dripping
wet (my wringing skills leaving a lot to be desired) on my retractable washing line out in the back garden. Fortunately the sun, like Eugene, was on my side today so at least it did all dry. I comforted myself with the thought that it could have been a whole
lot worse. I could have been an Indian squaw, a modern day Minnie Ha-Ha, scrubbing my pillow cases in a neighbouring river and spreading them out to dry on stones on the bank. Except that I doubt our Minnie used pillow cases.
The sweet lady on the Bosch customer services line couldn't hear me properly. She asked for my post-code, then told me she couldn't find my address. It turned out she had misheard my postcode and was trying to locate me somewhere in Birmingham. In theory
I do know most of the NATO phonetic alphabet, as in A for Alpha, B for Bravo etc - but in the heat of the moment (as in the hear of a telephone call) I tend to make up my own version. So, instead of N for November, for example, I will say N for Nuts. It's
no wonder we were having trouble communicating.
Apparently when the Man From Bosch comes out next Tuesday he will charge me £95 even as he steps over the threshold of our house. If he pronounces my washing
machine Dead on Arrival (which is sadly likely) it will still cost me £95 and I won't even get a death certificate to enable me to arrange a suitable funeral. On the other hand he may be a potential miracle worker who will bring my brave machine to life
again, despite its Great Age.
To be honest, I don't hold out much hope. I have far more faith in Eugene who takes Mr B through his exercises with considerable care and encouragement, at the same times listening
to his jokes with highly commendable patience. Whether he will continue to laugh at the same old jokes week after week will be a test of his endurance and inter-personal skills. Eugene leaves us several pages of exercises with instructions that I am to take
Mr B through these once a day until he (Eugene) returns on Friday. Fortunately there are pictures to help me remember which exercise is which.
Tomorrow I will pretend to be Eugene. Without the white coat but
hopefully just as encouraging. Mr B has promised to be a Model Patient.
As with the Man From Bosch and the fate of my poor washing machine, time will surely tell.