This weekend was spent doing a long promised job for Ian's mother. She has a large garden and six water butts and Ian had promised to connect them all up to collect all the rain water from the roof and thus make sure she had enough rain water to water her plants. The first stage involved making a plinth along the side of the house to stand the water butts on. This was relatively straightforward. The next job however, assembling something Ian called a 'manifold' out of various bits of copper pipe, brass taps and hose seemed rather more complex and the finished product looked like something found in a engine room. Various lengths of plastic hose were connected up between the taps, the water butts and the downpipes from the gutter. A test-run was commenced and unfortunately the connections seemed to leak due, according to Ian, to the inadequacy of the hose clips. Hence I was dispatched forthwith to Toolstation to purchase some more of a different size.
Toolstation is a warehouse outlet for all building, electrical and DIY materials. Ian discovered it recently and we are now regular customers as they are quite good value. The staff are usually helpful and unlike their rival Screwfix they usually keep most things in stock. However, today as I entered the store the young woman near the counter disappeared in the other direction. From the rows of supplies I could here someone talking to a mobile phone. The conversation continued a few minutes more before, exasperated, the woman said "You have a customer. Can't you call back later?!" After a little while the man on the phone appeared, still talking on the phone.
"Sorry mate, just got to serve a customer.. what did you want?" (to me but still talking on the phone). I told him, he typed a few things on his computer, continued his conversation, typed a few things more, asked me again what I wanted, continued on the phone, asked me my address and postcode, continued on the phone, went and got my order, took my money and was still talking away on the phone (arranging his night out) when I left the store. Who says men can't multi-task!
Postscript: even with the new hose clips the 'manifold' still leaks. Back to the drawing board!