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The Landlady: Unlucky trio ...


As a landlady, and indeed, in life in general, I find that once something goes wrong it is unlikely to be the only thing to go wrong; it attracts other problems like flies round the proverbial. Last week, while doing a load of washing, my (incredibly expensive) machine suddenly began to emit an irritating 'alarm-clock-type' sound, then stopped working mid-cycle. 'Waterproof', flashed the sophisticated display on the front. This explained nothing about why the wretched thing had stopped working. By some miracle, I managed to find the manual, and in the ‘trouble-shooting’ section next to the problem listed as ‘Machine says waterproof’ it gave no further instruction apart from ‘phone agent’, whereas all other problems had a practical solution.

Greatly angered and reluctant to telephone the ‘agent’, who would no doubt drag me through a series of call option hoops with no ultimate solution and would charge me handsomely for doing so, I had a look at the machine myself to see if there was an obvious problem. I soon found a dinner-plate-sized rend in the rubber seal, thus rendering the machine far from ‘waterproof’. 

As I fumed next to the machine, The Big Son appeared behind me with an armful of washing. I told him the machine was not working. “Well, there’s a big effing hole in the rubber thing, so I’m not surprised,” said The Big Son. The Big Son has always had a deeply annoying propensity for discovering problems in the house with cataclysmic potential and saying absolutely nothing about them until it’s too late; this being a prime example. As I was about to stuff him in the ‘big effing hole’, my telephone rang. It was my downstairs tenant informing me that her overhead lights had fused.

So there was problem number two, then. Fortunately, both problems were fixed (at great expense) before I headed off to Turkey at the end of the week, although I was tempted to leave The Big Son with no washing machine. As I sat on the ferry from Bodrum to Datca – where I live in Turkey – I smugly assumed that by leaving the country I’d managed to swerve the third problem that might follow the first two.

When I arrived at my little house, all appeared to be well. At first. As darkness fell, I switched on the light ... and nothing happened. There was no electricity. At least The Big Son wasn’t there to tell me that it hadn’t been working for ages.