Monday morning saw me with nothing to do other than continue working at home, even though the weather is so hot. I’d had a long soak in the bath on Sunday evening to help me to relax, not that I needed to relax, I knew I would fall straight into a deep sleep anyway because I was feeling very tired. Lying there quietly I could hear the water tank refilling as they do of course when running off a lot of water. It seemed to be taking longer than usual to stop but the thought soon passed from my thoughts. I could still hear what seemed like water flowing through the pipes when I had finished bathing but couldn’t pinpoint the source and in any case it was late, 11.45 and I was tired. I arose around 6 o’clock and had my breakfast so I could start making preparations for continuing the work in the garden. When I approached the rear of the garage I could hear water splashing and discovered the overflow pipe from the storage tank supplying the bathroom was gushing out water and it looked as if it had been doing so right through the night. This must have been the sound I heard the night before. A change of plan then, out with some tools and a ladder to investigate the problem. It was of course the sealing disc in the supply pipe valve. I managed to turn off the water supply to the tank to stop the overflow but as I was doing that I received a call from a lady I’ve done work for before on numerous occasions who wanted me to do two small jobs for her. The flow seemed to have stopped from the overflow for the time being but I knew that wouldn’t last and I’d have to strip out the valve disc and replace it at some point. The access to this tank is through a very small opening measuring something like 300 x 450 mm and was constructed by the previous owner of the house when the bathroom was at that time undergoing a make-over (it needs another one) and I found it extremely difficult gaining access but managed. The ceiling ‘trap’ (access hole) is alongside the wall and the water pipes make it even more difficult as they restrict movement. I closed the trap and went off to tackle the lady’s jobs stopping on the way to collect my medications from the chemist (drug store) which I should have collected on Friday but simply forgot. The jobs took longer than expected and I didn’t return home until after 12.30. I took the lady to buy an electric wall heater to replace another she had so that she could decide on the model she liked but on the way back to her house we stopped at my house so she could see something of it as she had been asking me about it. As it wasn’t far off route I obliged and showed her around the rear garden and the work we’d been doing there. She was very impressed and complimented us on what we’d achieved. We stayed but a short time and then returned to her house to do the remaining work. Her house belongs to her daughter but she lives with her and as her daughter was at work she organised everything for her. That meant I would have to wait until the evening to receive payment when her daughter would drop by our house with the money. It was around 2.30 in the afternoon when I suggested to E that we should do something in the garden making use of the fine weather and she was eager to do so. We managed to move a mound of soil and level the ground a little ready to lay some paving slabs there later and I moved the four remaining slabs from where I’d stored them up onto the plot of ground before we could lay that last slab which now completes the set of steps we’d been constructing. Out came the cement mixer and we mixed some mortar and laid down the final step. The remaining three slabs will be laid on a membrane directly over the compacted soil. The ground is contained within brick walls and is therefore naturally compacted. It isn’t necessary to lay a foundation for these slabs as long as we make sure the ground is fully compacted and is level. By now it was after 4 o’clock and E pointed out that the overflow pipe was again pushing out water. I thought it might somehow! Tools and ladder out again and upstairs to do the job. Fortunately I carry plumbing materials in my van with the electrical materials so I didn’t have to purchase anything. This time I made the effort to climb completely into the ceiling space which was quite difficult but had to be done in order to gain proper access to the valve. Soon I had the valve stripped down and the replacement washer/valve seating disc was fitted and then we returned to the garden to tidy up but before I went downstairs I got washed and I changed my clothes which by now were covered in dust. I hadn’t bothered with overalls this time as the clothes were already somewhat soiled from my earlier work. It was now just after 6 o’clock and we received a visit from the lady and her daughter with the payment for my work. The lady is 80 years old, though you wouldn’t know it and her daughter a little over 50. I invited them into the garden so the daughter could see it too. I was handed a sealed envelope containing a card and cash but I didn’t open it until later when back indoors for our evening meal. I had been given twenty pounds more than I’d asked! What a nice gesture and especially so after the day’s problems. The daughter has always been generous when paying me for the work I do because as she says ‘You are prompt and efficient’………..She forgot to add ‘and wacked too’! And then I wrote this.