Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Workmen

The plumber seems like an old, safe pair of hands.
He arrived early with a slightly dim and very loud sidekick in order to remove an ancient radiator in the kitchen and to replace it with a shiny new one.

I find myself getting all " blokey" when in the company of practical men.
I call them " mate" and ask them technical questions that I have no way of understanding when answered.
It's the same phenomenon I used to see when my English sounding father used to talk to an old Welsh Farmer at the farm my sister kept her horse. My father always suddenly acquired a Welsh accent when they chatted, a fact he never had any insight into
It's the chameleon in us I guess

Anyhow I've never really been happy in an all male environment .
I once worked on an all male ward in psychiatry. Male staff, male patients, male domestics, male doctors.
It was a dreadful experience where too much testosterone, banter, crudeness and Micky taking ruled the day.
I was far too fey to have felt comfortable in that environment.
I never could fit in with it all....it was a rehash of the misery of games at school.

Now, because I am more comfortable in my own skin, I can cope better with company which is out of my comfort zone so to speak.

And when all else fails the offer of a hot cup of tea and a large chocolate biscuit always seems to break the ice.

Dealing with workmen at home can be rather stressful!
What are your stories?
I'd be interested to know

Ps I've just furnished the guys with tea and kitkats and the testosterone filled apprentice has just asked where I got my bespoke cheese board from as he " absolutely loved it's design!

My sister Janet designed it !

114 comments:

  1. I have no stories about workmen except the constant Radio 2 that my man cannot work without and the resulting insanity it drives me to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our retired plumber used to listen to Classic Gold.

      Delete
    2. The plumber has been whistling " hits from the shows" so I'm happy

      Delete
  2. I never quite know what to say to workman, I just make lots of tea, offer biscuits and hide in another part of the house.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My husband (The FW) is a 'workman'. Today he is in a house that is filthy. Taking out, putting up wallboards and then replacing a toilet!!! He is armed with gloves,overalls, bleach, disinfectant, all just to 'handle' the item. *yurrk*
    He loves a cuppa and biscuit, but strangely is managing without this time.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I had nothing to say, until I heard the above Rachel mention radio. Tradie radio, the stations they listen to. Intolerable. Tradesmen have changed over the years though. They are much more professional and much less rough and ready. I don't mind being with Indian and Anglo Indian men at work. They are not as crude as our local straight blokes and do not insert multiple effs into each sentence.

    ReplyDelete
  5. We had workmen in our house for a fortnight, installing central heating...the gaffer (in his 30s) accompanied by 2 or 3 late teens/early 20s apprentices. They brought a huge ghetto blaster with them every day, tuned to some station belching out loud 'Ibiza' club type 'music' (I use the term loosely). They were friendly enough, but trailed dust mess everywhere all the time, left greasy handprints on the banister, left the toilet seat up all the time, and seemed incapable of closing the front door every time they trooped out to their van. It drove me crazy, so much so that my husband took time off work so he could take me out and away from it all every day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember the state of the cottage when I had the central heating done. Thank god the Prof was away

      Delete
  6. We had a flood into our garage many years ago. We were insured and the insurance company were great they are called Ecclesiastes, I would recommend them to anyone. They decided that the garage would have to be taken down and a new one erected. Then it started. . . I could write a book but after months of mess and different tradesmen turning up they all managed to put holes into the new roof, when it was rectified the roofers turned up with no ladders and 'borrowed' ours. The rendering fell off and had to be replaced and the garage had to be repainted. It all cost a fortune and is not right now. Some of the workmen were great and I always supply copious tea and biscuits. We had one of those tall chemical toilets in our garden for at least six months. The only good thing was that it was in our garden and not in our house. Love Andie xxx Bet you love your new kitchen xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another week to go before they get it in

      Delete
  7. You don't feel comfortable in all-male company? So I guess that you are not the John Gray who used to play at tight-head prop for Sheffield Tigers Second XV up on Dore Moor? I could have sworn it was you. You were very good in the ruck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was me! The showers got all too much

      Delete
    2. You shouldn't have dropped the soap.

      Delete
  8. I have learned to speak to the working classes in my usual semi-posh Surrey accent. It gets me more respect - usually more than I deserve. I learned this when I was a member of the working classes. I had to impress them with feats of strength or skill before I got the respect, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes strength. I used to regularly carry 2 CWT stone blocks up a ladder. (For all you foreigners, 2 CWT is 224 pounds).

      Delete
    2. That's interesting, Tom. 224 pounds = 101.605 kg. Let's leave chips on shoulders and Sisyphus, punished by the gods for his arrogance, aside. I don't know how much you weigh but isn't there a law of physics that means you can't lift more than say, for sake of argument, your own body weight max? Carrying (sustained) being quite a different proposition to lifting (brief).

      Carrying up the ladder ...?

      U

      Delete
  9. When we bought our first new house, we did a snagging walk round with the site manager, a charming Irish gent. When we looked into the downstairs bathroom we realised the window was fitted with clear glass rather than obscured. We noted it to the site manager who replied " Ah now! Would that be a problem then?". Thankfully it was changed.
    The same chap spotted me trying to dig the heavy clay garden, and offered me the use of a compressor and a jack-hammer. He seemed surprised that neither me or the husband knew how to use one!
    Other than a builder cutting through a water pipe (no running water for two days) we have been rather lucky with building work. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've also just remembered when we were having the bathrooms replaced, Husband had buggered off on a work trip, so it was me and the dogs plus three van loads of plumbers, tilers and sparks. We had one usable toilet which was being tiled. After tying my bladder in knots for hours, I asked head plumber if I could quickly use the loo. To my horror he turned off the radio and bellowed "Time for a tea break lads,Lady need to go". They all shuffled out of the house and lurked on the drive while I had the most cringe-worthy wee ever. Now I'm blushing at the memory. x

      Delete
    2. I am such a clutz when it comes to DIY , THE PLUMBER had to show me how the bleed the radiators I felt so inadequate

      Delete
    3. I tried it once. Cue filthy black water all over me and the floor. Never again x

      Delete
  10. Mirroring the behaviour patterns of the person you're communicating with, whether verbally or by body language, can help put that person at their ease. A useful management technique.
    I tend to do it subconsciously, but I have to reign it in sometimes if I find myself taking on an Australian accent or something.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I found myself using Australian inflections when we went to sydney

      Delete
    2. You both sound like right tossers.

      Delete
    3. People have been so critical of Madonna for her fake British accent, but I can understand it; I definitely think some people are natural mimics, and pick up the accents of those around them without meaning to. I think I do it a bit myself, lol. And I definitely pick up certain words - "bloody" is a favorite, for instance, lol! My fellow Americans look at me askance... Also, the cheeseboard IS adorable!

      Delete
    4. Add me to the list of people who 'acquire' accents. And I love that cheeseboard too.

      Delete
    5. Tomas as I recall you said you put on a posh accent when talking to blue collar workers! Tosser

      Delete
    6. Me too, me too! I get a slight southern drawl when I am in the Southern states. British is easy to pick up too. Irish and Scottish are downright impossible for me.

      Delete
    7. I always have a posh accent. I cannot help it. I'm posh.

      Delete
  11. I know exactly what you mean about not being happy in an all-male environment. As you say, too much testosterone, banter and crudeness. I'm quite unable to join in, and I just sit around wincing and looking for a chance to escape. I feel totally awkward when there's a bunch of blokey male workmen stomping about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I prefer the company of women but an all female workforce is imbalanced too and has its own downsides

      Delete
    2. "an all female workforce is imbalanced too and has its own downsides" - yes, buncha miserable bitches; I work in a 6-male environment and I am the only female. just one of the boyz!

      Delete
  12. My father built houses when he wanted to relax ( rolling eyes) .. so I grew up around workmen .. plus my husband and I bought a few homes that were needy.
    I think a man dealing with workman is easy and no problem but being a woman, there are so many issues to deal with ... not being annoying, not being thought of as flirting, not getting in the way . The workers in Buenos Aires were the best, they were super respectful and good mannered and enjoyed/were surprised by my offering coffee and biscuits now and then.
    I am basically at ease around workers ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well I scuttled off and left him to it

      Delete
  13. Incompetent plumber is for the third day trying to fit a radiator in our new extension when we hear our 3 year old son excitedly asking him did he come on a horse and where did he park it because my Daddy says you're a cowboy ! And yes it really was a awkward as you imagine from then on.

    ReplyDelete
  14. So glad to find I'm not the only one who is unnerved by having workmen in the house. I always feel as if I'm in the way, they are bound to ask me to make decisions about things, and I feel inferior. I need a new bathroom but keep putting it off because I hate the whole process so much. Good to know I'm not alone! You haven't mentioned Winnie above, John. Surely she's not letting them go about their work unmolested?

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've never even thought of offering a workman food or beverage. I am curious if this is a British thing and I'm in the clear (although I feel rude) as an American.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As a person who has other people spending hours in my house doing generally backbreaking dirty work for me, I can’t imagine not offering a drink of water at least.
      Because I have had so many homes renovated and being used to workmen around all day I just make a pot of coffee as a matter of course.

      Delete
    2. I’m an American but raised in the South where all kinds of good manners are expected lol

      Delete
    3. In the US, I think offering food and drink, except perhaps water, is not as expected as it seems to be in Britain. A nice thought, but no one would think badly of you not to offer. Maybe put out doughnuts and coffee for them to help themselves to if they're interested, but they either go out for lunch or bring their own to eat in their vehicles. Generally the expectation on both sides is that they are there to work, not socialize. I also think we mostly would not put up with the degree of messiness and music blasting you Brits seem to tolerate. Footies or stocking feet and broom clean-up afterward are pretty common expectatons here.

      Delete
    4. Morag! You are a bastard if there is not a cup of sweet tea ready for your workmen

      Delete
    5. I feel like a dolt! I'm now curious if I'm the oddball in my region or if I'm typical. I'll need to do some surveying!

      Delete
    6. I don't drink coffee, and so there is none on offer. The water tap is there, it's what I drink, they're welcome to that. These guys make more than I do, they can bring their own snacks, and hopefully eat somewhere besides in my house. ''US, no snackies.''
      And American men do not drink tea, so far as I know.

      Delete
    7. Morag7:15 pm

      Trying to imagine the resounding "huh" I'd get if I offered a bunch of American workmen cups of hot sweet tea! Maybe cold "sweet tea" in the South but that's a whole different thing!

      Delete
  16. Generally, I have had pretty good luck with workmen and the trades. It is coffee and muffins and then get out of their way. My main concern was having them show up when they say would and they have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are not having my muffins

      Delete
  17. Ha! I love that the cheese board was so appreciated. I understand how you feel about all-male company. I never felt comfortable in that kind of environment either. I usually just stay out of the way of workmen -- I go hide in another room!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Had a lovely bloke and his mate fitting a new kitchen. Kept them topped up with bacon butties, the odd scone and copious amounts of tea and complements on the quality of their work. I've been very lucky with tradesmen on the whole. We do use the same people again and are happy to recommend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ill put on my best walking dead t shirt when the kitchen fitters arrive, they are bound to be fans

      Delete
  19. workmen! the bane of my existence. i have been feeding my crew daily for the last 4 months! last year when my house was being painted (for months and months) i would walk into my house and yell hello to my husband and i would have any number of men yelling hello back to me from the roof and siding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL..hello all my husbands...

      Delete
  20. I’ve not long had the house rewired and must say the father and son team were excellent. Friendly, clearing up the dust and debris every day, never ‘finding’ extra jobs’ to do at further cost, and they listened to Classic FM on their mega-sized rechargeable radio!
    Earlier this year I had the back garden landscaped – a promised five day job took ten weeks… The gardener no doubt extremely talented, but not much of a businessman and had obvious mental health issues. As a retired RMN I think I ‘empathised’ and allowed his behaviour…
    Anna :o]

    ReplyDelete
  21. I don't feel entirely at ease in an all male environment either and I'm not gay. It's one of the reasons I've always gone to a ladies hairdresser for my haircut. In a male salon the talk is all V8 engines, Manchester United, and "get a load of that". I'm much more comfortable chatting about teenage children's progress at school (older hairdressers) or boyfriend troubles and overdoses (younger hairdressers).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A mixture of the sexes feels more " normal" Phil

      Delete
  22. Micky taking???? Whatever does it mean?

    ReplyDelete
  23. I like that cheeseboard too! Your sister has a real sense of whimsy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will feature in the new kitchen

      Delete
  24. Workmen in the house is my idea of hell. They wander round leaving all the doors open and you are always in their way.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I remember feeling awkward with tradesmen at first, but mostly got over it. I think it might be easier as a woman because I don't feel any sort of pressure to be as knowledgeable as they are about their business. But I do love to ask questions and understand what they are doing; the asking questions part is also easier as a woman because I can do it "innocently" without implying that they are doing something wrong. The occasional 2 dozen donuts were always appreciated. That was my experience in the US. Here in Belize, we mostly use local help with inadequate "on the job training", for the quality of work that we expect, so Dennis and I research the "how to" on line and queue up relevant uTube clips for the workers. Good thing we learned a lot before we moved here! For long hard projects, I keep the guys fed with homemade johnny cakes and other baked goods and they keep themselves hydrated with coconut water from our coconuts. Works out great. While Max the cat was still alive, she loved to inspect the construction and got to know the crew quite well over the course of the 18 month building project.

    So sweet that the worker loved the design of the cheeseboard made by your sister.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Coconut water how bloody exotic ! Mine will get tea and like it

      Delete
  26. An electrician once warned us he was about to switch the electric off in order to put in a socket. A suspiciously long time passed and we went to ask if he was finished. He replied 'Well I would have been but for some reason my drill isn't working'. 'Could that be because the electric's off?', we asked....

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous3:27 pm

    Mom used to make platters of Christmas cookies (including rum balls) and deliver them to the plumbers and electricians businesses. She always got a speedy response the next year when she called them. They would even help her move furniture and one electrician out a handrail on the basement stairs.

    ReplyDelete
  28. First: Your sister Janet is very creative! Second: So much for testosterone. Third: I used to tense up whenever macho straight contractors would walk through the door. Many made it clear they felt superior to the two "fairies" of the house. I hated it. Here in Spain, we have never yet experienced that. Some crap contractors and/or with no personality, but mostly very pleasant, warm, and open. It's a nice change. Then again, we had most of our work done in the States in the 80s and 90s. Times HAVE changed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never felt that they thought they were superior it's just I feel inferior due to my lack of DIY acumen

      Delete
    2. When we renovated our flat in Buenos Aires, we hired a British man and his partner an Argentine.
      It was great because they were good and there was always someone there who spoke English.
      It was a lovely mix of gay , straight, English,American and Argentin all with the same goals..
      To bring that old home back to life..it was one of the best renovation experiences we had ever had.
      PS
      Furniture shopping with gay Argies is the Best Fun!!!

      Delete
  29. The baby was still young born in February. We were in the middle of another house remodel. I was tired, cranky, sleep deprived and needing a shower. I put the baby down ( the x was around somewhere) and when I came out from the shower, here was the workman holding the baby in one arm and spreading joint compound with the other ! He said the baby needed a cuddle.
    This workman was so much nicer than my x. A much needed smile that day for me. I always remember this small kindness.

    I love Janet's art ! Fabulous.
    cheers, parsnip

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I like it too. She's much more artistic than I am

      Delete
  30. I always make cookies for them so they will like me and want to do a good job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good idea I'll bake tomorrow

      Delete
    2. Send me cookies.
      I promise I will like you .
      :)

      Delete
  31. We are having lots of plumbing and painting done at the moment .... they need tea every 10 minutes !!! .... and, I have to keep making descisions on plugs, taps, flushing mechanisms and paint colours .... do you ? XXXX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The kitchen has been chosen, so most decisions have been made, just can't wait to get it sorted now. Going in on the 20th

      Delete
  32. I hated every bit of all the building work on our place. The guys themselves were a nice bunch and fell over backwards to be as neat as they could be but it's the invasion of 'my space' that I absolutely hate and having to answer questions and project manage brings out the worst in me. Of course I was as nice as pie to the workmen ... but the wife from hell to my Lovely Hubby ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now ursula would just say we should suck these feeling up....i wonder how big her house was...a tiny cottage like mine is full when two people is in it let alone a gaggle of workmen

      Delete
  33. My, my, what a bunch of tender souls and shrinking violets, in the face of those in the know, you and most your readers are. Let me remind you that builders are human too. So are men. Indeed plumbers, electricians, even plasterers. I related my own experience, same subject, to you in reply to your post "Patience" 20 Oct, and I don't remind repeating myself with this slightly edited version:

    "We lived on a building site (my dream house) for EIGHTEEN months. The place needed to be taken apart before putting it together again. I'd emerge from my desk in an otherwise empty room, like Aurora in the dust, to keep up the workmen's morale. No probs. Well, other than when my then husband came home in the evening (after the builders had left). He was a most exacting man. I had the time of my life calming him down, to then convey his critique, nay demands, to the builders (and assorted trades)the next morning without pissing them off big time. I assured them that their workmanship was amazing if only we could tweak this or that. It worked like a charm. And smile. Be appreciate of what they are doing without faking it. Take an interest in their skills. Take an interest in them as people. Being tetchy and remote will get you nowhere. It was so sweet. We bonded over pipes and subsidence and what not. I loved those guys. And they did like me. One of them even climbed a very tall tree our kitten had found herself on top of. They were top notch salt of the Earth type guys."

    Now, of course, if you guys can't stomach salt of the Earth then, yes, boo from gander to gander will give you the .....

    Apropos of nothing, a lesson I took on board: I was told (in confidence) by all of them, to never marry a builder, a plumber, an electrician, a plasterer. Any wife's nagging will fall on deaf ears; because, when they come home after a day's hard graft, the last thing they want to do is fix their own dump.

    U

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No one here as far as i read, stated they have or were going to treat the workmen badly at all....and i doubt any of my readers would do so.
      Ursula in my post nothing of the sort was mentioned ...oi said i found them intimidating but that is because of my lack of DIY knowledge .
      You really have to stop looking for negatives when non are there

      Delete
    2. Surprise, surprise, another of my missives gone wrong. I didn't say that either you or any of your readers would treat builders "badly".

      I responded to you (your words) being "intimidated" by them.

      Sorry to say so, John, in your and my communication there is only one who is "looking for negatives where there are none", and that is you. I can't say anything without it being taken if not wrong then at least askew. Still, you didn't tick me off (this time) on being too wordy. Close to giving up. Unfortunately not one of my strengths [giving up]. So you may have to bear with me for a little longer till I run out of puff.

      U

      Delete
    3. I've lost the will to live

      Delete
    4. Alt take a deep breath

      Delete
  34. That must be Albert on that cheese board! Lovely. :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. My father had a fun story about being a telephone installer back in the 1950's in Chicago....after knocking at the apartment door he was quite surprised to be greeted at the door by a woman who was stark naked and had no interest in dressing herself. He said he feigned needing a different set of pliers, and got out of there, and later sent a different installer to that apartment. I wonder if that happens, still. Good luck on the new kitchen install, I'm sure it will be lovely soon! I did offer fresh pie to the man re-siding the house last week, and do think a bit of hospitality is appreciated by hardworking folk. Compliments are good too, if sincere. I need to point out a couple spots that need attention, and that is difficult to do at times....and at least a friendly rapport eases the pickyness of my attention to detail!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hypuband kitchen fitters will be glad to know that i am going to keep my clothes well and truly on

      Delete
  36. Oops again. I kept wondering why John was replying to all my comments, then I realised that this is his blog. I realised this after I had called him and another blogger 'tossers'. I am now going to creep off into the shadows.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where did you call me a tosser?

      Delete
    2. In a past life I expect. I genuinely believed that I was on my own blog, but that's the trouble with being an alcoholic drug addict with money problems I guess. Carry on.

      Delete
    3. I sometimes do that. I don't even have to be drunk.

      Delete
  37. My bungalow has been full of various workmen for days and I have really enjoyed making cups of coffee and tea - and in some cases lunch. Now they have all gone I am missing them but having the dishwasher on less.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I know what you mean about being around a roomful of straight men! I don't care if they are labourers or doctors, I feel totally out of my realm, so to speak. A roomful of women I can easily handle.....throw in a few men for good measure and it feels fine.
    I was brought up in a working class neighbourhood mostly and am quite comfortable talking directly to trade workers. And like you, as I got older I could care less what they thought when they realized I was living with my husband. Most could give a damn but there was once a plumber a few years back who couldn't get out fast enough!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think many quote like gay clients we generally too well

      Delete
  39. I try to stay away from the plumbers, carpenters, and assorted repairmen as much as possible.... Thank for posting your blog... its a "read" now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice to have you on board Tommy

      Delete
  40. The only negative experience we ever had was with the neighbours' yard people - I happened to glance out the upstairs window just as one of them was relieving himself . . . on our compost pile . . . To be fair, it didn't LOOK like a compost pile. We have a roomy yard with trees and undergrowth at the back line and just pile our leaves and grass clippings, etc. there. I made a mental note not to use it for anything edible. Which isn't hard, because we don't grow anything edible. But, just in case, you know.

    And also, to be fair, I felt sorry for him. I'd be the first to support someone's right to empty their bladder, seeing as mine is often a source of misery for me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think urine is an accelerator of the composting process.

      Delete
  41. That cat board is lovely!!

    I understand feeling uncomfy in certain situations where an outsider may at a glance think everyone in the room is on the same wavelength.
    Being around nothing but white people sometimes throws me because I am still not used to is as I grew up in an urban area and now live in a rural one. We adjust best we can. :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. My brother is way smarter and more extroverted than I am but seems to have turned into a right jerk over the years and I have never understood why. He takes the mickey and goes too far, is prone to grandiose statements, hogs the limelight etc. He also works in an all male environment and has done for over twenty years so maybe that's the issue. I never thought of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some people have limited insight into theirbehaviour

      Delete
  43. I forgot to mention how wonderful your cat board is . . . but you already knew that! Your sister has captured the black cat/yellow eyes character extremely well.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Just been reading all the comments, you do have some lovely people writing in, and you are polite in your answers. Talking about bleeding radiators. I worked at one hospital and it was getting very cold, someone mentioned having a look at the radiators. However, we could not find the necessary key. Our of nowhere a voice said " I have a bleeding key" we looked around and there was our local vicar with a bunch of keys in his hand. Yes, he had a bleeding key and proceeded to sort out the radiators but we never let him forget his innocent 'swearing'. Love Andie xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not always so polite x

      Delete
    2. Paramedic to Essex Girl:

      "Where are you bleeding from?"

      Essex Girl:

      "Essex".

      Delete
    3. Inwent to see Garry Delaney last night ( mock the week)
      Best joke......my girlfriend was upset that I couldnt find her clitoris, ..in her best friend's knickers"

      And
      " old macdonald had torettes!
      EEE, EYE, EEE, EYE, CUNT

      Delete
  45. Thirty years ago I moved into the home of a house builder. We had to gut and remodel the house. When the kids, who popped in from time to time to see what we did to their old house, wanted to bring mom and dad to see, they discussed it a long time. When mom and dad did come, mom was wowed, and finally said "I could have lived in this kind of house instead..." Dad, he didn't say anything.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I find that here in mostly very warm
    Southern California, keeping a few
    bottles of water in the fridge at
    the ready to offer to sweaty workmen
    always gets me a great job done and
    much more friendly conversation.

    ReplyDelete
  47. The last tradesman I had to deal with back in the UK was a British Gas annual boiler service man. He did the job, refused to re-light the boiler, and wouldn't give me a certificate of 'worthiness' on some silly technical point. I called him every name imaginable, then he started crying and saying that his son had just died. I kicked him out. No tea, no biscuit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think with this rather unbelievable story it's you who is taking the biscuit, Cro. Or should that be the mickey?

      U

      Delete
  48. The cheeseboard is lovely, and surely destined to become a family heirloom.
    Hope you've got plenty of smelling salts handy for Winnie, as she swoons over the workmen? She will be in orbit !

    ReplyDelete
  49. The workman that most readily comes to my mind was very much the happy good-natured friendly type — a plumber who took and unreasonably long time to replace a commode in the bathroom. It became increasingly clear he either had drunk his lunch, or was three sheets to the wind from some other reason. Unfortunately, the quality of his work was sadly lacking so had to have someone else soon after though this was a company we had long used.

    ReplyDelete

I love comments and will now try very hard to reply to all of them
Please dont be abusive x