Saturday, 21 August 2010

Smelly boots and Bee-boy’s parents

After the departure of Bee-boy, I redecorated the apartment. Stripping off the old wallpaper, painting the ceiling etc, etc. The old plaques electriques were buggered and tripped the electrics if switched on. Casting my mind back to when the previous 2 tenants (the tree-fellers) lived there , there was a bang and a smell of smoke one day. .....

Bee boy had always used his portable 2 ring gas stove and his portable ovens for cooking so I did not find out about the problem until the day he left.
I bought a proper electric cooker with oven and got the man who came to wire it up, to safely disconnect the old cooker rings.
I built a wooden platform to cover these and siliconed it into place.

When I got back from my hols, a new tenant had moved in. He is Portuguese and speaks little French or English. Like many of the Portuguese here, he is a mason / builder.
One of my plastic garden chairs was missing, so I put up a notice asking for its return. This had no effect, so after a few days I replaced it with an enhanced version, complete with drawing of a green plastic chair.
The next day the notice had gone and the chair was back on the patio,

There is no two ways about it, he is a noisy bastard. From the rental paperwork I know that he is/ was married to a woman from a neighbouring town. He is probably in his late 20’s early 30’s. There is no sign of the wife, so I suppose that they have split up.
Sometime he parks a big white van or a lorry in the parking. His name etc is on the sides of the vehicles, so he either owns the firm, or his dad does and they share the same name. Anyway back to the noise factor. Three seconds after he comes in, he switches on his TV or radio and it can stay on literally all night until it is time for him to go to work. What luck! He also smokes non-stop. My poor new wallpaper and paint........
Fortunately my bedroom is not directly above him, but if I ever get a tenant for the teeny-weeny studio, they will be right below him.
Still, he regularly cleans his room.

The main problem was his gaggingly smelly work boots. Initially there was one pair parked outside his door on the landing. Then there were two pairs there. A strong smell of aftershave-like perfume would waft up the stairs some time after he returned home from work. This would however wear off after an hour or so, and the stench from the boots would win the day.
I started taking a deep breath and trying to hold it as I climbed or descended the stairs past them. As the weather heated up, this proved to be impossible.
One day I tackled him about it as he passed me as I sat on the terrace. I even pointed to places where he could perhaps leave his boots. Outside in the space under the concrete steps, or under the house in the damp earth floored cellar.
The boots stayed outside his door for several more weeks. Reflecting upon our one sided conversation, I got the feeling that he thought that some mad Englishman was explaining the house’s ventilation system to him.
Then his boots suddenly appeared outside overnight on the terrace, subsequent evenings they moved to the space under the concrete steps.

I have 2 theories.

1) one of the ladies that had visited him had told him that his boots stink.

2) he is trying to keep the hallway and stairs from getting muddied by his boots......

This is a much longer post than intended, so just quickly, I had a brief visit from Bee-Boy’s parents. Madame was out so she missed their visit. For the previous 2 weeks she had been telling me that we were going to be invited to an apero with Bee-Boy and his parents, but that no date had been fixed. This was them just popping in to say hello, before returning home to the Loire the next morning. They may return in early September...

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