Monday, 22 August 2011
Old Boilers Feel The Cold
Both I and my Chappée oil fired heating system qualify as old boilers. Regular readers will recall my feature "Old boilers like it hot" where I went to find Monsieur Gordeau at the house with the blue shutters in the place with no name. Yesterday, the boiler stopped working. This morning I called Madame Gordeau who took a deep intake of breath and explained they were very busy this week but she would phone me back at a very specific time - that is to say "A la fin de la matinée". No one really knows where the morning ends but she called me back at about 1 o'clock to say that her husband would call tomorrow at around "La fin de la matinée". I was very thankful and genuinely appreciative. About an hour later he arrived. He had a few minutes to spare. With him was an apprentice. Monsieur G. removed covers and interrogated the trainee - What issues could he think through? What were the factors in analysing any problem? Now this was a life I understand! This was old fashioned on the job hard learning your trade. The problem was soon fixed. The fee? .....Nothing. He had serviced it last year and so it was free. Now - eat your heart out corporate gold star super cover mind at ease maintenance in the UK. OK - you phone a kid in Bombay who says something unintelligible about needing to pay extra to get the platinum cover that has replaced the gold because of commodity price rises. This is FRANCE. Small conscientious deeply honest businesses function here and you are a valued client. They have apprentices to learn the trade and their wives answer the phone and care. This is FRANCE. A while ago I read a book by E.F. Schumacher called "Small is Beautiful". I think the strap line was "Economics as if people mattered". Read this book. If you have a boiler issue in Charente Maritime call M. Regis Gordeau on 05 46 97 78 85. Thoroughly recommended.
I am not pre occupied with waste tips. However, Gilles and I passed through La Déchtterie today with some bags of mixed sand and soil. In the skip were several plates and soup bowls. Some had been smashed by having old tiles and stones thrown on top of them. A few remained and I grabbed one. An official approached. Gilles asked if he could take the remaining plates that were unbroken. "Non! Ce n'est pas autorisé" Said the fluorescent jacket guy. Gilles pulled a Gallic face. Other punters were coming in to smash them with building rubble. You have to shrug. Sometimes eco-warriors have to retreat to higher ground. It will gnaw at his soul. He was born poor. Should we go the barricades to prevent stupid waste? Come on you young folk - the MAN has got you trapped and just looking over your shoulder in fear for your job and credit rating. Aux Armes!(See photo of rescued plate with fig. Would you have let it be stoned to death?)
I picked a big bowl of succulent sweet figs today from my tree. I just want you to know that.
Emma thinx: Rubbish the waste. Trash the tip.