Gradually, day by day, life is returning to an acceptable state of affairs. As I’ve found so many times in my LIME Cottage adventure, once I put myself in a positive mindset and expect everything to go well, it begins to do just that.
The huge engineer who came to fix my broadband on Monday was absurdly grateful for the coffee. I was the first person that day, he told me, who had given him a friendly welcome. He’s the ‘last resort man’, he explained – the one they send out when all others have failed. Therefore he is often greeted by angry, disgruntled customers. One woman that morning had sworn and screamed at him so much he’d withdrawn to his van for a while, to consider whether to go ahead with the job.
“Then I thought, well what do I know?” he said. “She might have lost her mum last week or something. There’s probably a reason she’s behaving that way and it’s her problem, not mine. So I went in and did the job – got it working perfectly – and then she was leaping about, saying ‘You fixed it! You fixed it! What did you do?’ And I’ll probably get into trouble for this but before I answered I told her she owed me an apology. And I got one. I still feel pretty shaky about it, though.”
I felt honoured to have met this thoughtful and sensitive man. He sorted out my internet connection and promised to give me a call in a couple of weeks to check that everything is going well.
The old sink has gone. A kind friend helped me load it into her car and take it to the local tip.
Yesterday more delightful men arrived to put down my new flooring. I’d been looking forward to that for several reasons: partly because I’d be rid of the ugly stained and ripped brown vinyl that had covered the kitchen, hall and bathroom; partly because until it was fitted my new sink can’t go in, but mostly because the workmen would be removing everything in my kitchen – including the fridge and washing machine. That meant no more hiding places for rodents! Even the darkest corners were revealed to be gloriously rat-free – and the new floor looks lovely.
Other wonderful things have happened in my life, too.
I’ve been invited to stay for a few days in a house on the west coast of Ireland at the end of the week. A friend of a friend is opening her doors to both of us – despite only having met me once, very briefly – and offering peace, tranquillity and views of the Atlantic and distant mountains. It sounds the perfect antidote to the chaos and craziness here and the lady’s kindness touches me deeply.
I had a beautiful letter from little Tuesday – my ballet dancing ex-pupil. She’s settling into her London dance school, struggling to be accepted by the other students, all of whom are from a very different background, worrying about her dad, whose tumour has grown larger, and unsure whether there will be enough money to pay for a second term at the school. (Please click here if you’d like to read her story and maybe even help her family out.) I hope she won’t mind if I quote briefly from her letter:
“I sound really angry but the ballet makes me feel like I’m in a beautiful fairy land and I love it. The school is amazing but the girls are very prissy and it shocked me as I thought everyone would be nice but nothing in this 16 universes will put me off ballet. I can feel it. It helps me be happy in life.”
So rather a mixed up post this week, as I finally get the chance to write from my own computer, but linked perhaps by the way in which all of us interconnect and affect each others’ lives in ways we sometimes barely realise. Each of us is on a journey to find what makes us ‘happy in life’, and to help others feel the same.
Normal service will resume when I return from County Mayo, refreshed and ready for the final push.