Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Maundy Thursday Tale of Hope

Arriving at our cottage in the Yorkshire Dales, late in the afternoon, we discover a note from the housekeeper informing us that the vacuum cleaner has stopped working. A slight understatement, as none of the electrical sockets work, meaning everything (with a plug attached) has stopped working. A quick assessment of the fuse box confirms a tripped RCD. Further analysis reveals that it re-trips whenever anything is switched on anywhere.

Now, what is the likelihood of finding an available electrician at 5 pm on Maundy Thursday in a village where I hold no bargaining power as a doctor; or, for that matter, an electrician who can affect a repair before the end of the long Easter weekend? About the same as finding a GP surgery open on a Saturday morning, I would say. The immediate future was looking bleak.

Undaunted, I ring a number on an advert in the local Parish magazine. Amazingly, a man answers. I explain the situation and make the tentative request that he might be able to help me.

‘I’ll be straight round,’ he says, and hangs up.

Somewhat amazed, I tell my wife that the cavalry is on its way. True to his word, he arrives within five minutes and proceeds to spend the next three hours finding the fault, isolating it, and giving us back a power supply.

The young man is a saint disguised as an electrician. My faith in human nature is restored, but somehow, after he has left with my profuse gratitude, I cannot help feeling guilty for not opening my surgery on Saturday mornings any more…

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