Last weekend we had a visitor. Meems, American, and fellow blog writer, came from Sosua where she lives and Danilo had arranged for Chivirico to be here too. We had a fabulous weekend helped by the fact she came laden with wine, chocolate and real American steak. She also bought me a very special gift of a limited edition picture of A Woman of Valor in Hebrew. Here is it in English.
When someone comes to stay there is lots of work to be done. Dogs have to be bathed, house has to be mopped, beds have to be changed. On the Monday of the week Meems was due to arrive on the Friday, the hot water stopped working. The tank is situated outside at the side of the house and you just flick a switch for 20 minutes and hey presto, hot water.
After three days of nagging Danilo said he had fixed it as some wires were wet but asked Saya (Number one dwendy) to finish the job off on the Wednesday, which he did. Thursday morning I am preparing to mop and noticed there was no water in the cistern. I assumed that the lads had used it all in the plato making but as the street water was due to be piped in that day I wasn't too concerned - although to mop, you need water.
Danilo told me a pipe leading to the water tank had broken itself (Dominican speak, no one ever breaks anything, things break themselves) so off he went to Moncion to buy some new pipe. He came back, fixed the pipe and I went for a shower. My shower lasted all of 30 seconds before the newly fixed pipe fell off and the water stopped. Danilo redid the pipe. This time when he turned the water on it didn't even last 30 seconds before breaking. So all the water had to be turned off - luckily the cistern was filling up by now, but we had no water in the house.
The next day, still with no water, Danilo bought a metal pipe and that seemed to work, until he had a shower, forgot to turn the water heater off and obviously the thermostat isn't working and the release valve on the top of the tank opened sending fountains of hot steam up to the top of the house. At least now we have (boiling) hot water and water in the house for mopping but you have to remember to turn the hot water off after 10 minutes or we have our very own geyser.
Meems arrived to a clean house and I was going to cook pizza for dinner. I opened the oven to switch it on and was faced with the appalling smell of decomp as they say on the crime shows on TV. I slammed the oven shut and yelled at Danilo to start the barbecue. I assume there is a dead rat under the oven but we can't get it out so until we can the oven is unusable.
So we had a useless water heater (fixed), a useless oven (not fixed) and then the fridge packed up (fixed by fridgeman).
A new goat was delivered by Alberto. His name is El Criminal, and apparently he is a young Boer goat, bred for meat. He has no horns and is furrier than the others and seems to be fitting in well. Here is Danilo carrying him to the paddock in the rain.
And here is El Criminal in all his glory
Finally, the book signing tour is sorted. I will bring copies of Life After My Saucepans and some of What About Your Saucepans? and will also sign any you might have.I will be starting it in Sosua on Thursday December 7th and in the afternoon will be at Midtown Bar and Restaurant from 2 pm to 6 pm. I will be having dinner at Taberna El Conde at 7 pm if anyone wants to pop in there.On Friday evening from 7 pm I will be at Dan and Manty's Guesthouse in Las Terrenas and on Saturday at One Love Surfshack in Las Terrenas from 5 pm till 7 pm.. Early next year it will be Santo Domingo and Punta Cana. Obviously I cannot go on the road without a bodyguard, so Chivirico will be coming with me. Hopefully as many people as possible will turn up for a chat!