Sunday, January 13, 2019

A new friend.


Howls alert us to the fact that someone is coming along the lane. It's a young woman with bright red hair pulling a two wheeled cart piled high with black plastic bin bags. She's accompanied by a pit bull and a pointy eared mutt . Both dogs christen the new fence around the war memorial. After that she, and they, are quickly gone. The PONs relax.

A van with British number plates has been parked outside the church for three days. The new owners of the house by the Pond have found Polish plumbers to install water and heating. The Polish plumbers are based in England but hire a van whenever they get a job on the other side of the channel. They sleep and eat in the van. Their boss is a thin faced man called Piotr who chain smokes. He is very affable and speaks an approximation of English. ' Good day to you mister. I come from Poland. My French is not so good. Perhaps you help me with France ? '  He bows at the waist as he says this. Angus says he'll be delighted to help him with France. The plumbing team have been working every night, overnight; the lights in the house blazing away, doors and windows wide open. '' Other peoples say it  takes six weeks. We do in three !" . By working round the clock they can get the job done quickly and cut back on the van rental costs. 

Piotr explains their mode of operation. While two of the plumbers work the other two sleep in the van. After eight hours they change shift. If heavy duty lifting is called for all four of them pitch in. Piotr thinks that two more years of doing jobs like this and he can pay off his mortgage and get a job near his wife and little boys in Poland. Once a day one of the plumbers heads off to the local supermarket for beer, cigarettes and a variety of canned products. How the local girl behind the cash desk communicates with any of them is a mystery. How they survive on a diet of cigarettes, beer and canned sausages an equal mystery.  Angus can only hope that their first priority is installing a shower . The second priority ensuring the shower is connected to hot water.

I'm sure the red haired girl with the cart and all the Polish plumbers have life stories that would amaze. History would have us believe in the greatness of some lives and the smallness of others. Life in a quiet French village teaches that all lives are intertwined in ways none of us comprehend.


After that exciting start to the day the PONs are fired up and ready for the off.


Which are more memorable ? Some of the faces or the music ? : 
https://youtu.be/iFGrooN6YDc?t=18



Revelation of the day : https://twitter.com/fermatslibrary/status/1082273172114862083


10 comments:

  1. Hari om
    The music so beautifully punctuated your narrative of passing lives that eyes have been watered before breakfast here in the Hutch... YAM xx

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  2. Everyone has a story. You captured the plumbers and the red headed lady well.

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  3. The 'Schindler's List' music video has brought perspective to a wet and dreary weekend.

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  4. I hope the Polish plumber earns enough to get see his child before he's gone. Childhood is gone in the blink of an eye.
    At the same time, I think the local plumbers would not be very happy to learn of these competitors who aren't contributing to URSSAF and RSI.

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    Replies
    1. After Brexit there's going to be a lot more competition from Polish builders, plumbers, decorators. They're already registering companies here en masse and after paying taxes can still make a good living.

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  5. Did the PONs meet the Polish plumbers? Were greetings exchanged in their native tongue?

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  6. The Polish plumbers remind me of the crew in the movie "Under the Tuscan Sun."

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  7. Bailey Bob Southern DogJanuary 13, 2019 at 7:44 PM

    After reading the pizza illustration, here is what I think you need to illustrate the Polish plumbers diet: picture#1 cigarette hanging out the side of Sophie’s mouth. Picture#2 several beer bottles wedged in wire behind Bob. Please understand these would be just props, however, you should have someone with fast moves standing by Sophie!

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  8. I, too, wondered if the Polish plumbers met the Polish dogs. Such enterprising people; hope their work is as good as their energy.
    Comment on the pizza thread "Crust is the best part=blocked" had me laughing out loud.
    The Schindler's List vid is beautiful.

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