The plumbers are here. They arrived at 9:00, as promised, loaded up the tiny living room with equipment, including a scary-looking blue gas-fuelled welding torch, and are currently sawing up the old boiler so they can take it out in pieces. (It’s in a cupboard, which makes it aesthetically pleasing, but more of a challenge to replace. There was just a sotto voce conversation about how big the new one is and how are they going to get it in there, but I’m trying not to notice.)

Anyway, you may be wondering why I’m asking San Vicente, patron saint of fontaneros and builders in general, for intercession — and if you are, it must be that you’ve never had an experience with Spanish workmen. “My” two plumbers are clearly on the up-and-up and know what they’re doing, but I can still vividly recall the horror story of a friend who had plumbers in to install a new shower, only to find when she got home that they had used the toilet bowl to mix cement, and had left it there to set. Those things happened a lot when last I lived here. Apropos of that experience, here’s your new Spanish vocabulary word of the day: cha-PU-za.

As I said, the gentlemen currently at work here at Casa Rubi don’t have even the slightest appearance of being chapuceros, and while they are leaving a trail of rubble out to the hallway, they’re also sweeping up after themselves. (They even had the very good grace to take the rug up, which I’d forgotten to do.)

But I still feel the need to ask for extra help.


UPDATE: There’s heat! There’s hot water! I feel so modern.