Saturday afternoon . A week before the house fills up for the summer. The electricians arrive unannounced at four o'clock . " Bonjour M'Ongoose. We haven't forgotten you " says the more senior of the two with unbridled cheerfulness . For a brief moment Angus thinks of pointing out that they'd promised faithfully to be here in March . They repair a security light, adjust a chandelier and hang two lamps in the snug . At five, on the dot, they quietly disappear . They leave a box of tools and a ladder in the upstairs hallway . Angus takes this as a sign that they will reappear on Monday morning to finish off all the other jobs. ' The font ' is less sure.
The garden furniture from Italy is due to be delivered at lunchtime. The phone goes at two. '' Excuse me Signor but our truck has broken down. A million apologies but can we come next week ? " . Angus , recognizing that ' can we come next week ' is Italian shorthand for ' we'll be with you sometime after the summer ' , says no. He needs the furniture now . The phone doesn't ring again . Angus resigns himself to a summer without the garden furniture . Ten thirty at night the doorbell rings . A very battered white van in the courtyard. The furniture unloaded by the glow of the newly repaired security light. The driver announces he has another delivery tonight . " Where ? " I ask . ' In Bordeaux ' comes the reply. '' That's two hours away ". The driver shrugs his shoulders and hurtles through the gates. Angus wonders how happy the next client will be at getting a delivery of furniture after midnight .
Sunday morning .On the other side of the lane a very large and very battered and very orange truck has made an appearance in the old farmers driveway . It is parked at right angles to the ancient motorhome with its non-matching chintz curtains . Impossible to miss. The old farmer , resplendent in string vest, baseball cap , voluminous ex-army shorts and tartan slippers , is stroking the leviathans rear mud guard . '' This will be worth a fortune when it's restored " he shouts out by way of greeting and explanation . Angus smiles .