March 27th, 2013


Ceci n'est pas une pipe d'eau froide

The cold tap in my bathroom hasn't been working for a while. No biggie - we generally shower anyway, and when a bath is necessary we can fill it from the shower. Still, eventually I decided I'd better get it fixed - and, having no regular plumber, lighted through a combination of sieve, shears and Yellow Pages on a local man. What appealed to me most about him, of course, was that he used to run a second-hand bookshop, and spoke on the phone in a rather plummy voice, for a plumber. Plumbing has been a romantic profession in my eyes since watching Cluny Brown at an impressionable age, and I was secretly excited at the idea of being visited by a Gentleman Plumber, probably in tweedy overalls impregnated with the aromatic scent of pipe tobacco.

In the event his overalls were olfactorily neutral, his only pipe was the one which ran to the mixer tap, and his second-hand bookshop turns out to have specialized in railway literature, which limited our common ground to a perilous isthmus. Still, he was every inch the gentleman, fixed my tap something lovely, and charged me only £20 for labour. I shall certainly keep his number.