Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Bathroom, Builders and... Brian!


"Whorlton Castle by Moonlight"
We are having our bathroom transformed into a walk in shower room which means the builders are in. They are a great bunch of lads so no complaints...and we have kept them well supplied with bacon sandwiches and cups of coffee! It should be all ready for our first shower on Friday night. I have already got the wine in to celebrate but in the meantime we are having to make a lot of trips to my mother's bungalow which, fortunately, is very close by. Never mind the frequent walks help to combat the effects of all the bacon sandwiches.
It reminded me of an amusing incident from many (very many!) years ago. At the time I worked for the Ministry of Defence (0017 - yup no kidding - that was my ID card number) and was posted as Chief Clerk to 'E' Coy 1st Bn Yorkshire Volunteers a famous TA Regiment in Leeds. It was the very best job ever and I made lots of really good mates some of whom I am still in contact with today. One of these good friends was Brian P. Brian was the unit storeman and although small in stature was a giant in heart. The Company Sergeant Major 'Paddy'  had bought a house in Wakefield prior to his retirement in a few months time. Paddy had recently had a new garage built but was having problems with the doors. This was a good enough excuse to leave the office behind and enjoy a jaunt to have a look. After suitable liquid refreshment in a nearby pub we eventually arrived to make our inspection. Now I will never claim to be an expert in the builder's art but even I could see the basic problem... the doors wouldn't shut. Nevertheless we had to justify the many miles in the army landrover at public expense so we wandered around inside and out in a very meaningful way. "It's pretty obvious", Brian said  "the walls aren't 'plump'". I stood silent as he and Paddy continued their scrutiny. "Definitely not 'plump'" confirmed Brian repeatedly until I could stand it no longer. I had to put him right - "Brian - it's not 'plump'" but he cut me off immediately "That's what I've been saying all so-and-so afternoon!" he chirped smugly. I gave in gracefully...the walls were not and never would be 'plump'!
I did a bit of building work myself on this painting. Whorlton Castle is near Swainby on the very western fringes of the North Yorks Moors national Park. It's actually a ruin but I needed a window to light up so rebuilt it.....not sure if the walls are 'plump' though! 

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