Paul the decorator disappeared off the face of the earth
despite being booked in yonks ago to paint the kitchen,
in order to make good the depredations of
Lloyd the electrician who also went awol.
It was supposed to happen while we were
conveniently out of the way in Japan/ Paris.
I didn't much relish the thought of a week without a kitchen
or having to find a new decorator.
But then Danny appeared.
He visited to estimate,
produced a detailed written quote by 6 a.m the next day,
at an astonishingly reasonable price,
arrived at 8 a.m as promised,
covered everything with clean dustsheets,
wanted no drinks,
played the radio quietly,
made no fuss,
didn't talk blokeish,
didn't need to 'pop out' for a couple of hours,
had a reliable van,
took two useful initiatives,
finished work at 4 pm,
and completed the job in two days,
one of them a Bank holiday.
He came back today to check all was well
and noticed a couple of nearly invisible missed spots
which he cheerfully put right.
I feel as though I have stepped into an utopian world.
The one where you are not almost given a parking ticket,
outside your own house for having one wheel
on the dropped down kerb
because the bin men had left the bin blocking the driveway
and you couldn't drive in,
and you had considerately left room for the bus to pass;
by an off-duty parking attendant who has himself parked
behind you with both wheels on the kerb.