Favours

I’ll see your lost blurb and raise you a plumbing emergency.

There I was on Daughter’s newly renovated Swiss balcony (they do these things ‘for free’ over there, just because it will enhance the block of flats), with nothing to do, when the email came from author friend in another country. She had misplaced her blurb.

Well, she hadn’t. She knew fine where it was. It just happened to be in the wrong place. And she knew she’d sent it to me, so wondered if I could possibly send it back to her, electronically. I could, except I couldn’t. In my balcony state, I had just my mobile phone, which didn’t seem to return attachments. (By which I mean I didn’t know how.)

So I Facetimed the Resident IT Consultant, and he actually answered. I sent him downstairs to my abandoned laptop and instructed him to return the blurb. As the author remarked afterwards, this turned into a three-country operation.


There I was, just arriving at Son’s new home, which had been anything but ‘free.’ He was in the midst of taking a call from a friend – in another country – who’d just opened up a mains water tap that I am technically responsible for. It was not good news. It was also after hours on the Friday of the Ascension long weekend (other countries do this) when no one in their right minds would be at work, or seemingly, have emergency plumbing cover.

A few panics later I phoned the author of the lost blurb, because according to my information she should be ‘not far away’ from the gushing pipework. She gathered up her husband and his toolbox and went to the rescue. She married a lovely and useful man, so he identified the problem, went home to see if he had one of those thingummies, and when he didn’t, asked the neighbours. As you do. Someone did have one of these plumbing antiques, and it was fitted and the water stopped running more than it was supposed to.

And in my other country, I was at last able to have a cup of tea.

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