The waiting game

3 o’clock on the dot of 5.

The washing machine and the hot water are working again. The latter was a matter of replacing the batteries which power the igniter and cleaning out the taps which had accumulated a lot of grit from the pipes. Probably every time anyone does some work in the building which involves hammering on the walls, the rust in the pipes comes loose.

The former was a faulty control panel. It seems that when it got jolted by the motion of the washer, it was causing the machine to turn itself off.

When the repairman came round on Friday, he said he’d be round at 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon to sort it out. He also wanted Linda to be here to translate. She arrived in good time yesterday and time passed. I showed her pictures of other places I’ve been in China and the website of the British Antarctic Survey where I worked in the early 90s. I had a look through the names of the people working there and recognised a few from my time.

But time continued to pass and although no repairman is ever on time, time was passing and I was getting fed up with the delay. Linda managed to contact the guy and he turned up at about 5 o’clock. Remember how he’d been to the flat the day before? Well, he walked in and headed towards the bedroom or the study, and had to be pointed in the right direction. When he’d finished, he emerged from the laundry (sans his gloves) and again headed towards the bedroom or the study to try and get out of the flat. Doh! And I thought my sense of direction was dreadful.

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