Saturday, April 3, 2021

Thumbtacks and Tradespeople


By the time I finally went to see this grove of blossoming trees at a park in Swiss Cottage on Thursday, they were a little past their peak. But it was still a beautiful scene, with pink petals dusting the ground.

That turned out to be a crazy workday. Not only was it busy, but I wore my dog-walking shoes to work by mistake (again), and though I am hardly a fashion plate I was self-conscious all day because they do look terrible -- crusty and brown with a film of dried mud. When I showed my boss, she laughed and said, "Wow, they're even worse than usual!"

And then I managed to injure myself with, of all things, a thumbtack. In my defense, it was the tack's fault. I was pushing it into a bulletin board when the plastic head of the tack split, and the metal post jammed into my thumb. I didn't know such a thing was possible. We are still not amused.

Anyway, I'm talking about Thursday because yesterday was so boring. I basically sat on the couch and read all day. I took the dog to the cemetery, where we saw this:


People leave the strangest things on graves, don't they? This is the grave of three older women, who all died about 100 years ago. Do they want a pink stuffed animal in a jar? I don't know. Maybe they do.


Then we came home and Olga went out into the garden to catch some rays. It was too bright out for her face, but she solved that problem.

We have the weirdest situation with some of the tradespeople who recently visited our house. The electrician who repaired (or did something to) our fuse box about ten days ago left behind a power drill, and later texted me to say he knew he'd forgotten it and he'd return and collect it. But he hasn't yet. I finally put it in the recently cleaned out closet beneath the stairs, where it can stay forever as far as I'm concerned.

Likewise, the roofers who erected the scaffold left behind a big aluminum ladder, a hammer and some roofing supplies. This is an even weirder situation. Our upstairs neighbor Mrs. Russia, who hired the roofing crew, had asked them to take their stuff away, and I left the garden gate unlocked for several days so they could collect it. But they never came, and finally I told her I had to start locking the gate for security reasons. She then came over on Thursday with a bike lock and said she wanted to lock up the ladder, so they couldn't use it if they tried to remove it without speaking to us. (In other words, I suppose, if they break into the garden.) She locked it to a pipe at the side of the house. She said they're very strange roofers and she doesn't trust them. Apparently she had some kind of dispute with them over the scope of the roofing job and the bill. God only knows who she hired, and now we're holding their stuff hostage. I'm not sure I have the full story. Do I need to worry about the Russian mafia?

So as to not end on that forbidding note...


...here's a happy piece of debris I found on the sidewalk.

38 comments:

  1. Except for Olga and Happy, these are some very strange stories. The locked ladder makes me wonder what goes on with your neighbours. The stuffed animal in a jar at a 100-year-old grave also makes me wonder. And your poor thumb. I wonder what word you said at that moment.

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  2. Oh - that teddy bear in the plastic jar! So very cute. In there he will not get waterlogged and he he will not be savaged by any squirrel-hunting Staffies that happen to be passing by. Regarding the impending amputation of your septic thumb, surely you will be able to sue your employer: I suggest you seek legal advice.

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    1. I understand why he's in a jar, but I still think it's a very odd thing to leave on a century-old grave of three adult women.

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  3. Sorry to hear about the tack injury. I can think of two other easy ways to do astonishing harm to your fingers, inflicting amazing pain, with the seemingly innocent found in every household (I won't name them to not give people ideas how best to cause maximum pain). Having said that, a lot of people are scared of knives. Don't be. As long as they are very very very sharp you won't feel a thing. Never shall I forget the look of disbelief and horror on my guests face when I had sliced through the finger tips of my left hand, unnoticed by me, bleeding down my skirt like a pig. Didn't hurt one bit. And yes, all my fault as I had played a prank with those knives; a prank which God who briefly borrowed the concept of Karma from another belief system punished me for on the spot.

    Your Russian situation makes me laugh. She thinks he was casing the joint? What does she harbour beneath those tiles? Faberge Eggs? You won't be able to assuage her paranoia but do try and talk some sense into the woman. Chaining a ladder to a pipe will result in a broken pipe if yanked off by, say, the unlikely passing thief in the middle of the night, seizing the opportunity. Actually, no, don't tell her that. You'll just feed her fevered imagination.

    U

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    1. I had the same thought, and I unchained the ladder from the pipe yesterday morning!

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  4. I, too, have had that same Thumbtaccident--see what I did there--and it does hurt like the dickens.
    Love the pink blossoms and the pink blossom carpet.
    Lastly, Olga has the right idea.

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    1. That is an EXCELLENT word! I'm stealing it.

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  5. Oh my goodness. We should get together a plan of action to save you if you are nabbed by the Russian mafia. Do not miss even a day of blogging or we shall be forced to assume the very worst. Of course, the daring rescue would have to wait until lockdown is over.

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    1. Surely my killer staffy dog will protect me? Yeah, right.

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  6. I love Bob's Thumbtaccident! Perfect word! And dammit- nothing is as bothersome as a sore thumb.
    You could have entitled this post "News of the Weird." Your neighbors are very strange. To point out the obvious.

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    1. To make matters worse, I cut a finger on my left hand yesterday while trimming dead leaves off our yucca. I'm a mess!

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  7. so do the people who own your 'flat' not own the upstairs? since you call the manager to get repairs and the Russians apparently do their own hiring for repairs. and if separate owners it doesn't seem quite fair that upstairs has sole responsibility for the roof. and isn't the plumbing all connected? don't know why I'm obsessing about who owns what.

    my guy Rocky usually leaves some tool or supplies behind. good thing he lives down the street.

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    1. The flats are separately owned. We rent from the owners of ours, while the upstairs neighbors own theirs. The expense of joint repairs to the building, including the roof, are shared between both owners -- but as renters we're not part of that transaction.

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  8. Don't get me going on tradespeople. That's why I try to do most things by myself.

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    1. I really should do more projects on my own. But I wouldn't roof a house or mess with a circuit breaker box!

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  9. With Red on this one, We try to do everything ourselves and that is why everything is undone...But , at least we know that it is undone to our liking! Ouch! your poor thumb! How one little thing can disrupt ! If it gets infected and you lose your arm, you can sue the thumbtackers for a bionic arm. Always look on the bright side!

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    1. Fortunately, an infection does not appear imminent. :)

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  10. That is a very strange set of circumstances with the tradespeople. I can't imagine them just leaving equipment behind then forgetting about it. That seems very odd. Just about as odd as putting a stuffed animal into a jar and leaving it on a 100 year old grave.
    Those trees are beautiful.

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    1. Yeah, I don't know what's going on with these people. It's so funny that it happened with two work crews in the same week!

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  11. Reed's Believe It Or Not! You can start a collection of crazy stories (with photos!) and make a lot of money! or NOT!
    That was my attempt at a joke! Doh!!
    Love the pink blossoms on the ground!

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    1. Sadly, my little tales would probably not produce any revenue. I'm just happy anyone's reading them even for free! (So thanks for that!)

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  12. I've done that with a tack as well - about fifty years ago - and I still remember the feeling of disbelief when I realized that the tack was made in two parts, an accident waiting to happen :) Since then I look for the ones with a solid cap instead. Or use push pins.

    Love the Olga photo and your description of her.

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    1. Yeah, I'm sticking to push pins or metal-capped tacks from now on. This was a weird tack with a broad plastic cap -- obviously a terrible design.

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  13. Locking the ladder to the pipe sounds like a terrible idea. The pink blossoms are beautiful. There is a street like that in Seattle, and sometimes we would bike through there on the perfect day and it was just magic.

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    1. I agree about the pipe -- I unlocked it after I wrote this post. Seemed like a recipe for disaster.

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  14. A very odd roofing story to be sure! It's almost as if they're using your yard for free storage.

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    1. Except they can't even access their stuff, at least not without knocking on our door. (Unless they climb the fence, which is easier said than done.)

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  15. That is an odd potpourri today. At least your life is always fascinating.

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    1. Well, "fascinating" might be an overstatement, LOL!

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  16. Seems odd for workers to leave their tools and ladders behind. Mmm? Wonder why they do that. Bummer about the thumbtack boo-boo. Hope all is well there today.

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    1. Very odd! I am especially intrigued about the roofers. It all sounds pretty bizarre.

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  17. That is very weird about padlocking the ladder. Drama! Can't wait to hear what happens next!

    Also, sorry about your thumb. Thumb injuries are really annoying since we do tend to use our thumbs a lot.

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    1. I have a feeling that stuff's just going to languish indefinitely at the side of the house. SO weird.

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  18. I don't think I use thumb tacks; they are that other plastic kind. Push pins? However, I was the Queen of Paper Cuts. There was much of my blood spilled in my classroom whenever paper was involved. Those roofers sound sketchy. Yikes.

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    1. From now on I'm going to be much more discriminating about my thumbtack choices! I get my share of paper cuts too, but I don't deal with much loose paper -- just books, which fortunately aren't as prone to cutting.

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  19. I am a bit lost for words, unusual for me. I'll go for the gutter. Any of the tradies cute or hot?

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    1. Ha! I didn't see the roofers, but the electrician's apprentice had potential.

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