I’ve been renovating my place for the last couple of months.
Mr Shitty a ‘City type’ and his rather attractive wife moved into the cottage next door to me about 3 weeks ago. One morning a couple of days after; whilst I was working on the front He stopped me and barked-
‘Could you tell the owners to tidy up the garden, it’s a disgrace! Also, we’ve got our removal people coming later and could do with that van put somewhere else.’
Biting down hard on my tongue, I smiled sweetly and moved my van.
Last weekend I was on the roof re-pointing the chimney stack. It’s a fairly simple operation, but one can get distracted especially as my perch offered an ideal vantage point as Mr. Shitty’s wife walked out the bathroom and got changed. (Bless the former owners for taking the curtains with them.)
‘Can you look at mine?’ came Mr Shitty’s cry about 10 Mins later from below.
“Looking at what, Sorry… What’s your problem?” (Thinking I’d been busted)
‘My chimney,.. I can’t get the fire to light; I’ll pay you for your time.’
“Oh, I’ll have a look once I’ve sorted this.” -It’s a long way down with a panhandle. I set up the ladders and had a look, everything was fine.
“It’s Fine. (You obnoxious twat) What are you trying to burn?”
Leading me up the top of his garden I was confronted by large heap (about 3 tons) of damp coal.
“Your coal looks old... It might have gone off.” -With a straight face.
‘I was hoping to move it closer to the house.’
“You need a coal chest next to the fire, I’ve built one next door.”
After seeing mine we settled on a price, and I offered to get rid of his old coal in the footings of a non existent extension the ‘owners’ were planning… As a favour… If, he paid cash for the chest.
I spent about 4 hours mid week disassembling a few of the free pallets I get bricks delivered on, and constructed a ‘very’ rustic looking coal chest Which, I presented to him the following evening. He and his Misses genuinely looked over the moon with it
and couldn’t wait to have a fire, but… What to burn on it?
“ I’ve got a stack of coal at the workshop, I’ve got to go back and set the alarms, so give me a hour or two and I’ll grab a couple of sacks.”
I even cut them a little bag of kindling from the off cuts of the pallets I’d used.-I’m considerate like that.
Later, I insisted there was ‘No need to get your hands dirty’ filled the chest and offered with the aid of a copy his financial times to set a fire for them. Tho’ gave him the honour of lighting it.
Bathed in the warm glow of a now roaring hearth, Mr Shitty handed me £ 580 in crisp twenty’s, also a bonus £20 for the coal sacks, which I refused to accept…I have got some principals - Couldn’t let him pay for his own coal.
Next afternoon Mrs Shitty knocked on my door with a bottle of single malt Oban and insisted I accept it for all my efforts… I graciously gave in.
‘Could we have your number? It’s so hard to find good tradesmen, and we’ve got loads of work to be done.’ and shot me the sweetest smile.
“Of course you can, but… I only live next door.”
Since then, I’ve had an apology from him and a wave every morning, several wanks thinking about her, an invite for Christmas drinks and more coal than you could shake a shitty stick at.
It pays to be nice to your neighbours.