I’ve enjoyed a rich and fulfilling life, so far, with my angler. If it hadn’t been for his preoccupation with liquid, of one kind or another, I would never have discovered, by trial and considerable error, how to re point a chimney, lay turf and carpets, make wallpaper go around corners or double-dig a bean trench.
Recently though, and for the first time in twenty five years, I actually paid a young friend to lay a bedroom carpet for me. Previously I have performed this service myself, with less than average results, but lately I seem to have lost the required motivation - the inclination disappeared about twenty four years ago.
My calculating ability falls far short of accurate and, as a result, I found that I had overestimated the yardage - ending up with a number of remnants of a reasonable size which, if arranged artistically, would carpet another small room.
I telephoned the eldest.
‘Dave,’ I said. ‘I’ve got some bits of carpet left over. If you fancy doing a jigsaw puzzle with them, they’d be better than nothing in your threadbare house and it will warm the place up a bit.’ [- the winter’s coming, look after yourself, wear a vest and have you got a clean hanky?]
He was impressed. Grateful beyond the bounds of decency and it was a good few minutes before I understood why he was so overwhelmingly enthusiastic. His intention, he informed me, was to cut it to shape and use it on the floor of the bivvy.
Fitted carpet, now! Along with the cooker, lamps for light and heat, cool box for food, bedroom slippers, portable T.V.
Next thing you know he’ll want net curtains and a small sofa.