So there I am sitting outside in the late spring sunshine, absolutely engrossed in a book. When from the distance I hear someone shouting ‘Chris, Chris, can you help me?’ I look up and see that it is Sue from number eight, who is well known for her absentmindedness. So I get up and wander down, thinking ‘I’ll bet she’s forgotten where she’s hidden her key again, and needs some help finding it.’
I am wrong, this time she has forgotten which electricity meter is hers. (I should explain here, that I live in a mobile home, and our meters are not in our homes or on our outside walls. They are mounted in clusters of four on the various telegraph poles which dot our site.) Could I find hers and read it for her? I of course say ‘Yes’.
Sue is very lucky in that her telegraph pole is in her garden, so she does not need to ask a neighbour’s permission to read her own meter. Anyway, picture the scene; there we are, Sue, myself, Ed (her cat), a telegraph pole, four electricity meters, a duckweed-covered shallow pond about eight or nine feet across (for those of you who think metric 1foot = 30centimetres) and a larch-lap fence directly behind the pond.
I take the meter reading request from EDF, check the meter numbers, and find Sue’s meter, it’s the one next to the pond. Ed has just started to walk around my legs the way cats do, and as she hands me a pencil and notebook Sue says, ‘Don’t worry Ed’s very friendly’.
Just as she has reassured me, I step back, turn and trip over Ed, take an inelegant shallow dive into the pond, skid across the bottom (collecting a bow-wave of duckweed on my face), up the far side and half-way through the larch-lap fence!
After I have extracted myself from the fence, into her neighbour’s garden, I walk round to Sue’s looking like a not so jolly, Jolly Green Giant. Sue’s first words are not ‘Are you are hurt?’ nor ‘Are you alright?’, but, ‘My fence! Who is going to pay for it!!! ?’ While I stand there covered from head to foot in duckweed.
I give a polite but negative reply to Sue’s question. Oh, in case you are wondering, Ed is fine….
Lessons to learn from this:
For me: Always try to look before you leap.
For Sue: That I am not as green, as I look!!
Clip Art from Microsoft