Wednesdays, as regular readers well know, is Piccadilly Circus Day in our house. Yesterday, it has to be said, was Piccadilly Circus Plus.
Not only did we welcome the usual regular callers - the Delightful Donna who entertains Mr B in the mornings while getting him washed and dressed, and Ever Helpful Kay who helps me keep my house in order - but also, after much aggravation, the Gasman
Cometh. Plus there was an unexpected call from the chemist, bringing fresh supplies for the box of Medical Stuff stored in the cupboard under the stairs - and, not to be forgotten, the Nomination Whist Gang, turning up at 2 p.m. for an afternoon of cards and
I had been worrying - needlessly as it turned out - about everyone arriving at exactly the same time putting me in the unwelcome position of having
to prioritise one over the t’other. This kept me awake last night and featured rather too heavily in my restless dreams. I need to remind myself not to worry about anything until it actually happens. It’s a good way to be - what you worry about
may never happen and if it doesn’t, in fact, happen then you have saved yourself a great deal of stress. If, on the other hand, it does happen - well, it would have happened anyway but at least you haven’t lost any sleep over it. Unfortunately
my over-active mind has not been easily persuaded.
As it happened, I couldn’t have planned the arrival of each and every one of our visitors better
had I drawn up a detailed spreadsheet. Not that I would ever do such a thing, you understand, but just saying. It is also important to point out that my grievances have all been with British Gas itself (other energy providers are doubtless equally annoying
at times) and not with the engineer himself who was sweetness personified. I liked the fact that he telephoned me beforehand to remind me to turn the heating off before his arrival (I imagine I should have thought of this for myself, but being me, I didn’t);
that he covered his boots with plastic slippers on entering our house; and that he wore a woolly hat throughout his visit. I also liked the way he photographed the distribution of coals on our gas fire to make sure he replaced them all in the correct order
at the end of his inspection - even going so far as to resort to the Internet for a final check. This is what I call Going the Extra Mile.
My favourite part
of the gas engineer’s annual visit is, however, always the same. It’s the moment when he places a flame in the hearth and heads outside to make sure there is smoke coming out of the chimney. I had to trot out into the kitchen to fetch my outdoor
shoes before following him out into the back garden to gaze heavenward. It’s a bit like watching for the election of a new Pope, heralded by white smoke wafting from the Papal chimney - but with far less portentous significance. The gas engineer couldn’t
quite understand my excitement, shrugging his shoulders with a “whatever turns you on” expression on his face.
There were six of us around the table
for Nomination Whist. We got quite carried away over the refreshments midway through our afternoon session with a discussion about the world today. So carried away, in fact, that I feared Delia and Maree might miss their bus home. I told them that if the worst
came to the worst, I could run them both home - but they set off along the road and didn’t return to take me at my word...
Probably just as well because
within minutes of everyone leaving, I was ensconced in the recliner chair (bought for Mr B but discarded in favour of a more splendid throne) and almost nodding off.
Piccadilly Circus Day. It’s a regular whirl...