From a plum nanny to a plumber

I have become a plum nanny. Not as caring as it sounds, for I’m ripening them towards a certain death (what a strange sentence!). Our lovely next-door-neighbour, Sally, has a week’s holiday and has gone camping. We are collecting her mail and watering her wonderful garden and she has three plum trees. One has large purple plums that are ready/nearly ready. They are falling to the ground. I am picking them and bringing them home to ripen in a paper bag with a ripe banana (works a treat in 24 hours). My dining room table is covered in almost ripe plums that have either fallen to the ground or into my hand. I ‘tickle’ them, don’t pull at them, just touch them and they will either stay firm or fall into your hand. When I have ripened them they will be stewed and returned to Sally for her deep freeze….hence being a plum nanny. I have some apricots ripening too but being an apricot nanny seems a bit posh to me.

Draft two of ‘In Vino Veritas’ is finished and I have a new cover which I absolutely adore. I found an image I really wanted to use and traced it back to the guy who created it, in Moscow, and I was allowed to use it. Wee bit more polishing and I will be ready to let my baby out for a little selected reading.

I had a lesson in customer service and the power of the consumer the other day. We sprang a leak in one of our showers and the carpet was a bit wet. What do you do? You ring your insurance company and then you ring a plumber. So far so good. Plumber said we shouldn’t use the shower and removed the shower head, that’s Ok we have a very good second shower over the spa bath in the other bathroom. Insurers said they would wait for the plumber to send his report, but in the meantime would send someone out to dry the carpet, but there was a $200 excess and would I like to pay that now by credit card? I politely declined and in 24 hours the patch had dried out completely.

Two days ago the insurance guy rang back and demanded to know why we hadn’t had the carpet dried out and he wanted to know if the leak was ‘sudden’ because if it was ‘gradual’, they weren’t going to cover it. I said, “no idea, I am many things but a plumber is not one of them, shall we wait for the report?” But NO, he was having none of that. After a 30 minute stressful and, at times, quite loud conversation (during which he threatened to send out an assessor to see if I was claiming for something I wasn’t entitled to) he closed the claim and said he would read the report but it wouldn’t change his mind. I told him I wasn’t vexed by that at all, I never expected the company to fund the replacement of a shower and the carpet was now dry. However the wet had appeared overnight and I had not made that up…..the next day, you guessed it, cancelled the policy and went to another company.

Is this a cool cover? Would this make you want to read the book?



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