Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

The techno-god of small things

Time for another legend about Monsieur Chauvel, our plumber in France and one of my techno-heros.

After he repaired the 50-year-old kitchen geyzer (see July 8) we had hot water for the hand-basin and shower in the bathroom. But neither my wife nor I are shower people. In my case I’ve never managed to adapt a shower to my main reason for practising ablution (ie, spending an hour reading).

And so M. Chauvel installed a modern electric water heater (huge and powerful) and a bath, and reversed the hot water flow in the pipe linking bathroom and kitchen. As a result the geyzer became redundant and was removed. All this was done quite painlessly while we were back home in Kingston. On our next holiday he paid us a quick visit to explain the workings of his new installation.

Finally he pointed to the spot where the geyzer had been. Its removal had required him to detach half a tile from the wall. But replacing it would be simple and he told me how. After this instruction he looked at my face and assessed the likelihood of my rousing myself and performing this simple task.

Yes, you’ve guessed it. When we next returned to the house the tile had been neatly replaced.


Plutarch said...

I find this story remarkably moving.

Barrett Bonden said...

I have a confession. Just before we sold the house I overheard a conversation in the village in which the words "Chauvel" and "décédé" occurred. Despite a lifetime spent prying into things I couldn't bear to find out whether they were connected.

Plutarch said...

I can believe that. I would have been equally inhibited in the circumstances.