Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The lustrum

If I'm grouping people together, pigeon-holing them, stereotyping them, then short sleeved Ben Sherman shirt wearing engineers and model train enthusiasts is a group. I find I often get on well with them. I seem to like people who are enthusiastic about things.

Spanish law says that if you have gas equipment it has to be safety checked. It may well be different for fixed, mains type gas, but for the installations that run on the 12/13 kilo butane bottles the periodicity of that check is five years. The last time we got a check the man who came along was one of those neat and tidy engineers. He was wearing his CEPSA uniform but, if he hadn't been, he'd have had a pocket protector. He seemed to do his job efficiently and we talked about nothing in particular whilst he checked this and that. As we were signing off the paperwork he made his, presumably standard, sales pitch and said that his firm also did routine maintenance of gas appliances. I remembered that and, last year, when we couldn't get the water to run hot I gave him a ring.

He came to service the boiler and the truth is that he couldn't get it to work properly. We complained and he came back, a couple of times, and tried hard to sort it out. He was always well mannered, he didn't seem at all perturbed that we'd called him back but in the end we took his advice that the water heater was jiggered and we even went to the supplier he recommended for a new one.

Google calendar told me that the lustrum, the five years was up. Time to get all the gas stuff safety checked. The appointment was for 5 pm today and at 4.59 pm my mobile phone went. Obviously enough the bloke knew where we lived so, unlike most people, I hadn't needed to dash across to the village to lead him to the house. He'd tried the door and I hadn't answered. Nonetheless, a minute early? Come on. It took nearly an hour, he changed bits of rubber tubing so that it wouldn't be out of date till his next visit, he checked exhaust gas levels, he drew little diagrams on the safety report, I handed over the 60€ and we agreed to meet again in 2022. I must ask him his name next time.

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