… of a minor crisis here today – like waking up and finding a puddle on the floor of the kitchen. First job therefore was to dismantle … "disPERSONtle" – ed … the kitchen unit where the sink was. Sure enough, one of the water pipes was soaking wet.
This meant turning off the water and checking all of the joints. One or two rubber washers inside were rather perished so Terry replaced them all, and then switched the water back on. And sure enough, five minutes later, more water!
After lunch, further inspection revealed that one of the braided tap-hoses seemed to be distorted. It’s not that it ever is so cold in the kitchen that the water would freeze and burst the hose but it didn’t look right at all, and after an exhaustive search, Terry couldn’t find a spare one. So off to Montlucon and Brico Depot (a round trip of 110 kms).
He was back after 40 minutes. Passing by St Eloy, he noticed that the plumber’s was open. It costs twice as much in there as it would in Brico Depot, but it saves on time and on fuel. So crawling back underneath the cupboard, he wielded his spanner and … CRACKKKKK … the bottom of the tap broke off. There was a hairline fracture in it and it was this that was causing all of the problems right from the beginning.
So it was off to Brico Depot anyway, and all that I can say was that it was a good job that Terry didn’t go there before to fetch the hose. That would have been the end.
So now we have a nice new tap which works perfectly.It’s the same design as the ones that I bought for my shower and my sink in the shower room back home, and probably the one that I will buy for my kitchen, whenever that might be ready to need one.
But we needed one to do all of the washing-up after Liz’s glorious meal last night. A basil-flavoured tofu stir-fry with noodles and it was gorgeous too. And I had ice-cream for pudding – after all, I can’t have any more until that is finished.
Talking of finished, I certainly was! When the alarm went off, I switched it off and went back to sleep. It was only a car pulling up outside that woke me bolt-upright. The neighbour’s car, not the nurse’s as it happened, but I didn’t know that at the time and shot down the stairs, missing my footing and falling most of the way to the bottom. And after the nurse went, I crashed out again on the sofa until Liz and Terry came down.
There is a reason for this however, and that is that once again, I’d been off on a couple of mega-rambles. And these were so enthralling that I woke up twice during the night and dictated them immediately into my little machine. And it was only on typing them out that I noticed the first couple of them – I had no recollection of it at all and it does make me wonder what else that I’ve missed.
The first part of all of this concerned a young boy – aged about 11 but looking about 7 or 8. We were back in mid-Victorian times and in a court room. He was charged with stealing a barrel of beer that he and a friend had sat down and drank. While the hearing was taking place, he was in the dock being violently ill everywhere, crawling on his hands and knees on the floor. In the end, the bailiff of the court, someone like John Wayne, sitting on a chair, took this boy onto his lap but the boy carried on being violently ill. In the end, the judge said something like “this is totally insupportable. We can’t possibly continue with the case like this!” This was quite true as it was clear that the boy wasn’t capable of understanding anything whatever of the procedure in his current state.
I then had something going on, involving me and someone else being chased by a dragon. This was something to do with where I was working and although I recall nothing of this and it was a surprise when it appeared on the dictaphone, I did hear myself say, when it had us trapped in a corner, that I wish that this dragon would clear off and let us get on with some real work.
From there, I went on to dealing with some issues of Marianne, who had miraculously come back to life. Nerina and I were looking after her (in the same way that Cecile and I did) and she was living in a duplex apartment, part of which were premises where I was working, on the floor below. I was down there trying to work and trying to do loads of other things too. but to cut a long story short … "hooray" – ed … Marianne passed on once more, and her body was still in the apartment – it not being possible to find someone who could come and take her away. It was Monday and no-one could come before Thursday. Nerina came back from where she had been and we had a chat, and I wasn’t sure whether I should allow her to share my bed or even stay the night, with all of this confusion going on right now. It was quite late by now and I was ready for bed at this moment, in my jammies and dressing gown. We were having a little cosy chat around the table in my room and suddenly, the door burst open and my boss from a job years ago, an absolute swine, stuck his head around the door, and cleared off again. And Nerina had to clear off as well. I escorted her to her car. Now earlier on in the day, I’d been having trouble with a TV camera – it would show TV programmes if you pressed the correct sequence of buttons but this was such a complicated sequence that I had managed to do it once but never again. ever since, every time that I pressed a button it made the boom arm collapse onto my head or something like that; So after Nerina left, I was out on this car park having yet another play with this camera. And then HE appeared again, brandishing a pink brochure of some kind. “Mr Hall, how DARE you tell the tea-lady that I was going to be here for the St Something-or-other (which implied that he was going to be at a dance that was taking place on that day)?” but my response was that I had said nothing of the kind. “I said that you were going to be here ON that day – a completely different thing altogether!”. He burst out laughing (for a reason only known to him) and said that he would see me about it in the morning. “Be afraid – be very afraid!”. Naturally, I thought that this was totally ridiculous.
We’re a long way from finishing yet. After a trip down the corridor at about 03:40 (having a timer on my dictaphone comes in quite useful) I was back in the arms of Morpheus and this was yet another really bizarre voyage. I could only recall some of it and I wish that I could remember all of the rest. For a start, I wish that I could remember who I was with. It was another young girl, bearing more than a passing resemblance to the much-maligned Percy Penguin (who doesn’t appear in these pages anything like as often as she deserves) but it wasn’t her, however it’s someone else that I’m sure that I know too. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we were in New York and after a major ramble (I couldn’t remember a thing about this ramble when I awoke) but we found ourselves at the tip of Manhattan, in Battery Park (although it’s nothing at all like the real Battery Park) and the park was quite high up, but surrounded by tall buildings, which meant that there was no view of East River, except in one particular place where the building was quite low. We were waiting for a certain ship that was going to dock at a certain quay – Quay 34 if my memory serves me well (as Julie Driscoll once said). This ship displaced 26,000 and a few tonnes which was quite small (such is the logic of these night-time rambles). We had no idea where Quay 34 was but in another astounding fit of nocturnal logic, a small ship would go into a small quay and that would be where this small building would be. Seeing it is one thing – being able to arrive at it was quite another, so we set off in the direction that we thought would bring us there. The idea was to walk all around the edge of Manhattan and hopefully we should arrive at it. A short while into our walk we came to the Deutschlander Tör – the gate that leads into a small Park in Manhattan that had been given in perpetuity to Germany by the USA Government for some act or other – it was not part of the USA but part of Germany. The gates were wrought iron, black and gold, about 4 metres tall and with impressive emblems. Crowds of people were milling around, photographing them, and just as I went to take a photo, a woman directly opposite me went to photograph them from the opposite direction. We would each have included the other in our photos. So we had a smile and a laugh, and I called out “one, two, three” and we took our photos simultaneously. Once we had sorted ourselves out, the girl and I continued our walk into the park. Here, we met up with a coach party, ours of which we were part, in fact, that we had somehow managed to miss during our ramble around the city. They were preparing to leave, but we weren’t. And in any case we weren’t going back with them an the day that they were flying back but staying on and going to Canada. I was looking for the toilet because both of us needed to go. A park guard pointed us in the right direction, indicating a girl in the distance with an orange “Home Depot” plastic bag. The entrance was right by there and he would walk up with us. One of the women from the party offered to come with us as well, and while we were chatting to the guard, this woman was talking over the top of our conversation, saying how inconsiderate some people were, talking loudly while others were trying to have a conversation, the irony of what she was doing having gone completely over her head. And everyone on this coach was urging us to come back as the coach was leaving at 19:30 as they were flying out at 21:00, despite my explanation that we weren’t coming back with them anyway but going on to Montreal (although our proposed route would take us nowhere near Montreal, not that this has ever bothered me in a nocturnal ramble). We eventually arrived where the guard had indicated, and what there was was merely a window sill that everyone was using. I let the girl go first and I went second. But – once again – who on earth was this girl who was so familiar?
Strangely enough, some of the scenery and background, particularly of the bit about the route to Canada, has appeared in a nocturnal voyage a while ago when I had flown to New York and hired a car to take me out into the rural area to the south-west across the Hudson River where I could see the surreal urban landscape of the city and the enormously high elevated highway that would bring me back to the city.
And this isn’t all, either. In the 15 minutes that I dozed back off to sleep after the alarm, I was gone yet again. I was in France, back at my house (although it’s nothing like my house at all) and I decided to go for a bicycle ride along the trails in the woods. I went on the blue and silver racing bike (I really have this, rescued from a house clearance a couple of years ago) which had no brakes and no gears. On a particularly steep bit across the ravine I could see the neighbour’s children having a great deal of fun amusing themselves and looking over at them, I stalled and I just couldn’t get the bike going again no matter how I tried. I pushed the bicycle up the steep hill towards the houses and the shops and there at the top of the steep bit, coming down the hill on a bicycle was a girl aged about 11 or 12 in a tube top kind of outfit, cycling past the houses and the shops. It was at this point that the car pulled up and slammed its door – the real car outside – and I was off downstairs.
And that’s your lot for today – all 2237 words, another new record, and most of which is total rubbish. No wonder it took me so long to type it. I really ought to be charging you to read this rubbish. Don’t forget about the Amazon links aside.