Tag Archives: life

I’m married to Jill from Home Improvement

There’s a scene in the TV show Home Improvement where Tool Time Tim’s wife Jill insists on talking to him as she walks into another room, her words becoming increasingly harder to make out.

This is a scenario which is played out at least once a week in our house.

“By the way, did you remember to…” A’s voice trails away as she leaves the room we’re both in and walks into another.

“What? I didn’t catch that last bit.” I raise my head slightly higher, straining to hear anything over a spinning washing machine and noisy kettle about to reach boiling point.

“I said, did you remember…” A’s voice rises but as she’s still walking in the opposite direction from where I stand I can’t make out the rest of the sentence.

“I still can’t hear you,” frustration creeps into my voice and I add. “I can’t hear you because I’m standing in a room full of noise and you’re three rooms away.”

“Well I can hear you,” comes the equally vexed reply. “The real issue is you’re a bit deaf.”

The real issue is I struggle to make out words spoken from the other side of a series of barriers consisting of thick, stone walls.

The Lights are Out

We spent the night in another part of the island, sitting on a hillside watching a fiery sunset from above the clouds.

Cars from the clouds, Vilaflor, Tenerife

At one point, below us a plane emerged from the blue bank of fluffy but threatening clouds at the same time and nearly the same place as a car’s headlights. At least from our position it looked as though it was nearly the same place. Curious.

Above us the sky dazzled with constellations.

This morning someone had painted it a dull grey.

Drizzle and low mist accompanied us on the drive home through the mountains. We sprinted through watery bullets to the sanctuary of the house… and discovered the electricity was off, the main switch tripped. Heavy rain was the culprit. Whilst we enjoyed ourselves above the clouds, their contents had been making mischief.

I flicked the switch and it jumped back to its mutinous non-working position.

I tried again and it immediately flicked off again.

This was a problem.

The electricity company had recently installed a new meter on the road about 100 metres away. Don’t ask me why our electricity meter should be there, it just is. ‘Improvements’ here can often result in the opposite, so the first thing I did was to check it hadn’t malfunctioned. It hadn’t.

A red light bleeped a clear message. ‘It’s not my fault.’

The second suspect was a socket under the avocado tree in the garden. It’s been a problem in the past. If not positioned properly, rainwater seeps in and trips the electricity.

On my way to the suspect tree I met my neighbours talking to an unfamiliar man who seemed to know a lot about electricity (I don’t). He advised me to carry out an elimination process, switching certain areas on and off and trying the main switch to identify where the problem was. It seemed a sound and simple idea.

A couple of clicks later and the avocado tree was found guilty as suspected.

The electricity is back on, and so is the rain.

In the garden, a plug socket underneath an avocado tree sits encased in a plastic bag under the protection of the bottom part of an eight litre plastic water bottle.

This primitive contraption will determine whether we will have light tonight.

I Can’t Let Go

Sometimes it takes another person to tell you it’s time to let go, to say goodbye.

For days it had been hanging on. Just when I thought it was finished, it gasped back to life once more. I felt it still had a few more days left in it.

A obviously didn’t.

When I went into the bathroom this morning, my tired looking trusty can of shaving gel had been moved from its position beside my razor on the sink. It was sitting, alone, on the tiled bench. A shiny new model was already sidling up to the razor.

shaving gel

The message was loud and clear – I’m tired of seeing this empty can, dump it.

I stared at the gel, torn. It was good for a another couple of shaves at least. If I turned it upside down, gave it a few shakes and pumped its head furiously it would reward me with a thin, weak drizzle of gel.

But I already had a new can, full of life and thick foam.

For someone who spent their first decade in a house where the toilet was outside and bathing involved a getting into a tin bath in front of the fire, dumping things before they were really, really done still doesn’t come easily.

That was another century.

Reluctantly I picked up the can and dropped it into the bin.

A will be happy I took the hint.

But I feel wasteful.