A Bag of Allsorts
Undressing for bed the other night, I glanced down and was horrified to see a dark, raised mole on my right breast which had apparently sprung up during the day (the mole that is, not my breast. That’s been there for some time). Had I survived Death by Jacuzzi just to face a new challenge? Collapsing on the bed in a heap, I was taken aback when my mole fell off and landed in my lap. Closer inspection revealed it to be the last remnants of a bar of chocolate I’d been scoffing on the sofa whilst lolling around in a slovenly sort of way in front of the telly watching some old nonsense. I nearly ate it – well, it was chocolate, wasn’t it? – but then decided to leave it since I knew where it had been.
Everything at Hotel H is done on a shoestring; that was the choice we made when we left the southeast to start a new life in the country. We’ve been here two years now and it has been the most glorious time so we feel very fortunate. But when my faithful old Siemens phone began to die of old age I decided to fork out £40 on a new Nokia from O2 on a Pay As You Go thingy, something to stick in my handbag and forget about except for the odd ‘We’ll be there in ten minutes’ sort of call.
When I missed a call from one of my daughters and the phone crashed, I immediately assumed it was something to do with me but after struggling with the wretched thing for two months I decided to look on the internet to see if anyone else was having the same trouble. Well, I didn’t have to wait long; the first hit had several complaints from folks all over the world moaning about the same problem with this particular model so I emailed O2 to draw this to their attention. Were they interested? No! Apart from telling me to take it back to the shop where I bought it (Cardiff – 100 miles away. Nearest O2 shop – 30 miles away.) and pointing out that it was too late for me to swap it, their response was akin to watching someone stick their fingers in their ears when you’re talking to them. A second email from me protesting brought the same response and the line ‘Enjoy the rest of your day’!!!
So, until I can get to an O2 shop, I’m stuck with a phone that faints clean away at the shock of an incoming call. Half of me is tempted just to go out and buy another ‘cheap’ phone, but if I could afford to do that I’d have bought one that worked in the first place.
Tom’s been busy on the boat. (Once again, I should point out that this is the shoestring boat, the equivalent of a very old and deeply unfashionable car). He’s also been happily planning a summer cruise which would take us away for most of June. There has been some lively debate, shall we say, about the length of some of these passages. Tom tends to be very optimistic about how far we can get in a day whereas I know what a slog it can be. Tom picks up a pencil which he claims represents a day’s sail on the chart we are staring at. ‘There!’ he says, triumphantly, positioning it carefully. ‘A day!’ Further discussion then ensues when I point out that there is half a pencil’s gap either side of this ‘day’ sail.
As of this morning we’re not going anywhere. Returning from a boat engine check, Tom came in and announced that there’s a problem with head gasket which, I gather, is serious, especially as there is no magic pot of money to pay someone else to fix it. Tom’s been so calm about it, bless him, that’s one of things I love about him. I know if it was me there would be a lot of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth but Tom just gets on with sorting it out. Fingers crossed that his efforts work… even if we do have to go back to arguing about the length of a pencil!
Painting is 'Storm Drain' by Tom Tomos