Before Christmas, when a cable fault at our local electrical company caused a huge power surge to cremate many of our home appliances during the night, one casualty turned out to be our Nespresso coffee machine. Always slick on customer service, the company arranged to take away the dead appliance, fix it at a cost of 75€ and leave us with a temporary machine while it was being repaired. This week, Nespresso rang to say the machine would be delivered the next day. As expected, the delivery driver called me in the morning and said that as our house was up a private track and hard to locate, could I meet him at the local church.
Without a car, I agreed but said I wouldn’t be able to carry the temporary machine and huge plastic container down the road. He was a bit vague but insisted the package wasn’t so heavy. I ran towards the church at the allotted hour only to find the Seur van on a nearby road. Greeting the driver, I announced my name and showed my NIE card. He looked bemused and said he had a package for me. Well, of course. However, he pulled out a huge box containing the coffee machine and asked for the temporary machine in return. Slightly impatiently, I told him that I’d explained all this by phone. He looked a bit non-plussed but accompanied me on foot back to the house to pick up the borrowed appliance. At this point my mobile rang and a distraught male voice asked me where I was.
He said he was hanging around at the church. The penny dropped. I had two drivers delivering different packages. The poor Seur driver did laugh. He said he couldn’t believe it when I appeared at his van before he’d even called me on worked out how to find our track. Meanwhile, we walked back to the church together where the original driver who’d called me held out a small package for my son. We all had a giggle. With so many deliveries now, it’s hard to keep up. Confused? Well, join the club.
I’m not a cat
l We all know the dangers of Zoom meetings and the many technical glitches that can trip you up, but for one Texan lawyer, things couldn’t have been more embarrassing. At a po-faced live court hearing, the judge and colleagues discovered that lawyer Rod Ponton had accidentally activated a cute kitten Zoom filter so that he appeared as a comic, eye-rolling fluffy white moggie. In desperation, he protested - with his words perfectly synched with the mouth of the kitten - “I’m not a cat!” at which point the humourless judge replied, “I can see that.”
I don’t think I’ve replayed a video so much but when something frustrating happens during the day now, one quick replay and I am shaking with laughter. How the judge and other grey-suited legal types couldn’t see the funny side of the incident, I can’t say, but had I been at that disastrous online meeting, I would have been in fits of giggles. I suppose that’s why I’m not a lawyer or indeed am rarely allowed on Zoom.
As a wildlife aficionado, I loved the news story about a young chef, who while out walking in the Cairngorms National Park, came across a tiny frozen kitten unable to move in heavy snow and ice. He and his friend kept it warm and left it with a local vet, believing it to be a stray tabby kitten. When they returned for the creature, hoping to find it a new home, the vet explained that they had in fact found a Scottish wild cat, one of the most endangered creatures in Europe. There are thought to be between 100 and 300 wildcats still in existence so the unwitting chef had come across quite a find. Happily, the kitten recovered and was returned to the wild, hopefully to augment the population of this beautiful species.
When the car of Robert Peters, a popular pizza delivery driver, gave up the ghost, the entire community of Tipton in Indiana, got together to raise money to buy him a new one. After 31 years of cheerfully delivering pizzas to locals in his familiar old bashed-up jalopy, the car began to falter having faithfully served him for nearly three decades. Known as Mr Smiley, Peters had become a much-needed friend to lonely residents, the elderly and families in the town, always offering happiness, kind words and smiles whenever he delivered the pizzas. Unaware of the fundraising drive on his behalf, the unassuming man was presented with a brand-new red Chevy Malibu just as his car ground to a halt. In tough times, it’s good to know that small communities are still spreading the love.
It’s my birthday today and much as I don’t get over-excited about these milestones now, it is a very nice excuse to have a lazy and fun day, enjoy a delicious meal with family (no friends possible this time though we’ll convene via Zoom) and celebrate one more year of life. It’s been an eventful period and when I do come out of my dugout I’ll be able to remember that this was the year I wrote two books, spent precious months with my son and husband, immersed myself in nature and helped bring life to numerous small beasties giving birth on our land. All in all, very luckily for me, not a bad year.
Anna Nicholas’s second Mallorca based crime novel, Haunted Magpie, is available at Universal Bookshop, Portals Nous, from Come In & Llibres Colom in Palma, and at Alameda gift shop in Soller, also at all good UK bookshops & via amazon.