[NB: if you’re reading this category in full you might want to start at the bottom.]

So – our man showed up at 9am, as promised. [I’ve never met a more punctual plumber – it ain’t normal.] Having taken his shoes off outside the door [this is new] he marched directly to the bathroom and went straight for the single remaining rosette, turning it over and over in his hand and nodding, as though inspecting some sort of rare rosette sample.

YT: I can’t imagine what happened to the other one.
IP: [doomsday voice] I can’t get you another one of these.
YT: […]
IP: I can go across the street [to the DIY store] and get you chromed rosettes.
YT: They’d look stupid, though. [The faucet is white].
IP: I can get you chromed rosettes if you want, but I’ll tell you something, that faucet doesn’t have long to live.

[NB Regular readers may recall that this is the same man who said ‘I don’t bury people before they’re dead.’]

YT: [thoughtful] So maybe we should just get a new faucet…
IP: [stabs finger in YT’s general direction for emphasis] I’ll tell you one thing. It doesn’t matter to me one iota if I put on new chromed rosettes or if I put up a new faucet.

[Meaningful pause]

YT: I’ll call EPI and see what he wants to do. [Pick up phone] I can’t make a decision without him, you know.
IP: [fails to catch the subtle YT humour] That’s good because he’d do exactly the same with you. He can’t make a decision without you. Whether he’d admit it or not. Women are a lot better at making decisions.

[YT calls EPI; after a short collaboration we decide on a new faucet.]

YT: [to IP already out in the stairwell] OK, we’re going for the faucet.
IP: OK, then let me give you one piece of advice: DO NOT buy anything that’s not German. It will be crap. OK, maybe they make decent gadgets in Spain and Italy but in general, anything that’s not German is guaranteed to be crap. It’s all to do with the copper inside the gadget. [Launches into Teacher mode] It all comes down to the amount of zinc in the copper. When there’s too much zinc… [long discourse follows on the physics of too much zinc in copper.] Some of these gadgets, they look really good but let me tell you, the people who make those things are making millions selling poor quality gadgets to people like you. I bought this imitation antique gadget for friends of mine recently and I made them promise to never, ever make me fix it…

[and so on]

So YT and EPI went out today but of course dared not buy anything that was not German [we kind of liked the look of this Spanish gadget they had, but nooo] fearing the plumber’s wrath in the morning and a lengthy lecture akin to the one he gave about the tiles a couple weeks back. Yikes!

Um. Cool, especially with windchill, thin cloud cover. So thin that when the skies opened up this afternoon with a torrential rainfall it came as a complete surprise and YT was not prepared. Never mind – went for physio and then to the hot pot at the pool where there tend to be some hilarious characters, too. Old retired fishermen talking about the merits of cod vs halibut. Hm. Perhaps I’ll collect some stories there when Our Plumber finally finishes with us. Current temps 8°C and daybreak 06.02 nightfall 20.42.