“Patience is a virtue / possess it if you can / seldom found in woman / never found in man.”
My dear Mum was
rather fond of quoting this somewhat politically incorrect saying on any occasion when my Little Sister or I seemed inclined to run out of it. Patience, that is. Being (as regular readers know) a person who seeks approval in every situation, I used to be pleased
that I was female. Despite the fact that the whole premise of the saying may well be unproven.
Be that as it may, yesterday my patience was Sorely Tested. Our
next door neighbours, who are always looking out for Mr B and me (to the extent of putting out our full rubbish bins each week and fetching them back in again once they have been emptied) pointed out that we seemed to be leaking. Well, not personally, you
understand - but there was a lot of water flowing out from a pipe way up above our heads which, in all probability, led to a water tank in the loft. It was likely that I needed a new float ball. Isn’t that just amazing - you really do never know what
you might need, do you? I am not sure I even know what a float ball is but, if one were needed, then I was intent on getting one.
Not at any cost, of course
- but fortunately we are insured against Plumbing Related Emergencies. It was rather a pity I had to invoke the terms of our policy, given that I had only received, the day before, the renewal notice and had been girding my loins to enter into a telephone
battle about the swingeing increase proposed. Now, I fear, I won’t have a leg - or a float ball - to stand on.
The fella at Homeserve sounded amused when
I confessed that I had no idea what a float ball was but was sure someone at his end would have. Indeed, someone would, he agreed and what was more that person (or, presumably, one of many people possessing intimate knowledge of All Things Plumbing, including
knowledge, though not exclusively, of float balls) would be with me on Sunday, sometime between eight in the morning and six in the afternoon. Which was rather a long time span, as I am sure you will agree.
Hence the need for patience as I waited - and waited - for our door bell to ring, so that I could fling open the front door and welcome across the threshold a plumber, holding aloft (as I fancifully imagined) a float ball.
It meant I couldn’t go to church, or shopping, or for a restorative stroll along the prom (prom, prom.) I simply had to wait in. Patiently.
Given that I
had a lot of time on my hands, I had to decide what to do with it. After all: “the devil finds mischief for idle hands to do.” As my dear Mum said, like, never. So I set about filing all the paperwork which has accumulated over the last seven weeks
while I have been concentrating on Other Matters. This was a considerable commitment on my part, given my aversion to filing as a matter of principle. By 5 p.m. I had made some progress though at the cost of my health and well-being. Only an hour to go, I
consoled myself, taking time out to put our dinner in the oven. It was a bit of a Make Do Dinner, on account of not having been able to get out to the shops.
this point the telephone rang and the chap in charge of the diary at Homeserve relayed the disappointing news that the plumber was running late but would probably be with me before 9 p.m. It was the word “probably” I didn’t like - but by
that time I was almost beyond caring. Fining does that to a person.
My patience was eventually rewarded. The plumber turned up at 8.40 p.m. in the middle of “Call
the Midwife” which was unfortunate as I kept missing important events while running up and down the stairs to respond to various queries. I couldn’t even make us - and the plumber - a cup of tea or coffee because the water was turned off.
Half an hour later he was on his way, having fixed our problem. Bless him, ours wasn’t even his final visit of the day as I imagined; in fact he was on call all night.
I hope he had plenty of float balls in his van...
He had helpfully taken a photo of our water tank to advise me that I needed to measure it up for a new lid, buy
a piece of Perspex from B & Q (other hardware shops might well be able to help) and replace the existing crumbling polystyrene top.
me, I filed this information away in my head. Under “Things To Worry About When I Have Nothing Better To Do.”
I’m getting pretty good at this
Filing Lark. All it takes is a little, well, patience...