My dad’s driving me back home from the station when he starts to tell me this story about how the previous week he’d gone down to the village stores to get the paper and that and a builder had come up to him with a dog on a lead and said, “‘Scuse me, I’ve got this dog here. He’s got a tag, ‘Boodle’, and a number but none of us have a phone. Is he from round here do you think?” So my dad takes the dog off the builder’s hands and rings the number on his mobile. It’s a local number beginning 730 after the dialcode and see indeed when the phone is answered my dad goes, “Hello, I’ve got Boodle here at the bus stop.” and a woman on the other end of the line says, “Well, thank you. But my name’s Mrs. Boodle. I believe you have Benji. I’ll send Mr. Boodle to take him off you. Thanks so much.”
So Mr. Boodle arrives and has a chat with my dad- they know each other from a while ago when my parents first moved to the village.
My dad walks back up the hill to the house when my ma confronts him saying that there’s no water at all. My dad’s a bit of a mad max maverick when it comes to plumbing so he goes up into the loft and discovers that she’s right- no water at all in the tank. He thinks it might be the water softener playing up so he bypasses that but with no success- still no water at all in the tank. At this point he rings up his plumber friend who can come on Monday but not that weekend so my dad begins to think of the best way to get water into the tank. Hosepipe through the house and over mum’s carpets is not her favourite option. So. Dad scales the side of the house, lashing the hosepipe to various protuding bits on the wall and threads it into the loft through the eaves, directly into the water tank. He’s prearranged with mother that she turn on the hose outside so that he can watch to make sure that the mouth of the pipe is in fact in the tank and not spraying everywhere and he gets out his mobile in the dark of the loft to call her, using his recent calls list to get to the home phone number.
“Hello, darling, I’m in the loft. You can turn it on now.”
“Oh do come on, Margaret. I’m in the loft. You can turn it on now.”
“I’m afraid I don’t know what you’re talking about. Who is this?”
He justs hopes Mrs. Boodle doesn’t have 1471.