Dave came back yesterday morning and replaced the old cistern. I won’t keep you on tenterhooks, you’ve better things to do with your time.
Suffice to say, the old one was lucky to leave the house in one piece, what with all the hammering, chiselling and expert bashing required to prise it free for the second time in five days.
All seemed well until the lid went on.
Or, more accurately, until it didn’t. Dave had, it transpired, installed not a shiny new cistern after all, but its showroom equivalent; one that had been sitting in a shop window for the past six weeks, flaunting itself at passers-by.
No great problem in that, perhaps, except that, on the assumption both cisterns were identical, Dave hadn’t brought its lid along. No need, of course – the existing one, he knew, would fit.
Except it didn’t. However much he tried to hammer the thing down. He even sat on it at one stage, much like one does with a suitcase reluctant to close five minutes before the airport taxi’s due.
Finally conceding defeat, Dave left us with the old lid, fitted at a jaunty angle, and promised to return with its replacement this morning.
Which he did.
But that didn’t fit, either. Even though it was the only one they had in the shop. I thought he was going to cry again.
And he’d arrived so bright and cheerful, too, having – like a Sherlock Holmes of the plumbing world – solved the ‘Mystery of the Leaking Cistern’. Apparently, it wasn’t down to him at all. The old one was porous. He knows this now because he filled it up and put it in the bath overnight. And this morning it had leaked through the walls and there was water everywhere.
‘I should never have doubted myself,’ he said.
I wanted to say, ‘No. You should have left that to us.’
I didn’t, of course. It would have upset him.
There’s only one solution now, Dave concludes, and, for a moment, I have a vision of him running out of the door and down the street. Never to be seen again.
‘We’ll have to get you a brand-new cistern,’ he says. ‘But it may take a few days.’
I once saw a film called Groundhog Day. In which the same things happened over and over again.
Life got better eventually.
Of course that was fiction and starred Bill Murray.
This is real life. And stars Dave.
So heaven knows how it will end.
Thought for the Day
‘I once read a book on heavyweight boxing. I didn’t understand it at first. Then it hit me.’
Robert Baden-Powell (1857-1941) (Founder of the Scout Movement)