2 September 2010

The Electrician's Dance

So we’re back to MS Word albeit on J’s netbook which has Windows 7 on it so hopefully no more Google formatting issues although as W7 is new to me, there might still be a few glitches around.
As we head into the weekend it’s going to be busy. Today, I’ve to take our friend Sarah to the airport who is off to Dublin with her hubby for the weekend and then I’ve got to find a shop selling a Barcelona football shirt. We have a 40th birthday party on Saturday which has a Spanish theme despite me telling the hostess that theme parties were just a burden on everybody going (yup – I’m an old fuddy duddy) and whilst I said to J a Spanish theme could be fulfilled by taking a bottle or two or Rioja, J told me to ‘get real’ and make an effort so my ‘effort’ will be to turn up in a Barcelona shirt. That’ll do it – don’t you think?
Yesterday was quite busy as the stock market roared back into life so that kept me fully occupied trying to make some dosh (or filthy capitalist lucre as my ‘friend’ Eddie calls it) to help pay for a rather expensive reunion I’ve got at the end of the month, and then later on my afternoon was disturbed by some tradesmen.
During the afternoon, there was a loud knock on the door (virtually unheard of because nobody ever knocks, they just push the door open, shout and come in) and it was a gardener and an electrician. The end house’s pool had stopped working and they wanted a guided tour of all the electricity systems – originally, three of the villas shared a pool so there was shared electricity - and they wanted my knowledge of the system to help them work out what the problem was.
I spoke French (I was so proud of myself) and explained that there were four meters and a simple test was to open the meter doors, and the meter which wasn’t turning was most likely to be for the pool which wasn’t working.
I saw them look at each other in a way which said, ‘you know – he’s right’. They looked and one wheel wasn’t turning. ‘Ah ha – it’s this one’, said the electrician.   We all nodded in agreement. The French do a lot of nodding!
Then it was off to the next link up the (electricity) chain, a box half way up the drive where all exterior power is distributed to the various houses. As they went to open the door, I said ‘attention – il y a une neste des paques’ – there is a wasps nest. Unfortunately, what I'd said was 'there is a nest of Easters' which means absolutely nothing. What I should have said was 'il y a un nid des guepes'. But coming from the guy who used to ask for a 'frog' instead of a spoon, and a lightbulb to light his cigarette, I think things are progressing nicely!
They looked at the nest, but being tradesmen and hence used to this sort of thing they shrugged (the French do a lot of shrugging) and the electrician started testing the various circuits. As he got to the third set of fuses, he gave an almighty shout and jumped into the air with a sort of strange little dance . The gardener, jumped in sympathy but the electrician hadn’t received a shock, he thought a wasp had stung his ankle. In fact, it wasn’t a wasp but a nettle which he had brushed against. Hilarity all round (in French).
A couple of more tests and they’d fixed the problem. As we shook hands and went our separate ways, the gardener thanked me and said I was ‘tres gentil’, which is what J says when she introduces Shadow to guests for the first time! Did he mean that I was very gentle? If I’d thought that I’d have run a mile.
C’est la vie as we French say and have a great weekend.
PS – ‘tres gentil’ means ‘very kind’. I also think in a doggy sense, it means ‘very gentle’ which still worries me!  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed that the electrician and gardener understood anything you said: firstly, a nest in French is "un nid" and secondly, a wasp is "une guêpe" so a wasps' nest would be "un nid de guêpes". Your phrase (apart from the "neste" being wrong) translates as an "Easter nest"! Also, "il y a" is three words and not two. Sacré bleu!! They must have thought you were off your trolley.