The Man and I had a very nice time in Venice. Now I am back in France but part of me wishes that I was still in St Mark’s Square sipping cappuccinos at €9 a pop, or gazing lustfully at €30,000 chandeliers in Murano. The problem (apart from my erratically functioning broadband connection) is my bathroom. I may have mentioned some months ago that the makeover had begun. To begin with, all went swimmingly well. The new skylight, super-flat shower tray and watery green mosaic tiling were installed expertly and sans problem. But just as I was expecting my dear old plumber to return and do the final fix - for as you can see, it lacks the magical ingredient known as taps - his wife called to say that he was in hospital. (Honestly, the lengths that plumbers will go to to avoid working for me!)
After several weeks with no news I started to fear the worse. Not knowing the nature of the illness, it seemed inappropriate to phone and chase. Instead, I just resigned myself to driving 15km for a shower. But today, I plucked up the courage to call his mobile, figuring that I could at least wish him a speedy recovery. I was taken by surprise when he answered with a gruff ‘allo’ since I had imagined he would still be in his hospital bed. After a polite enquiry about his health, I asked when he might be able to come and finish the shower.
‘This afternoon,' was the unexpected reply. I was so thrilled that I forgot to ask the all-important question: ‘what time exactly?’ And so I waited in - popping out only for ten minutes to the bakery - but no-one showed up. Worse, I found a message from my decorator who was due to return yesterday to paint the bathroom walls and ceiling. ‘Unfortunately, I am working on a new job’ he said. ‘And it is going to last two months. So I cannot come back until then.’ Was it, I wonder, something I said?