Will the Real Charlie Please Stand up?
I woke up to glorious sunshine, the lawn awash with tiny golden dandelions, and was happy to be alive. My second thought was that potential home buyers might not be so excited, so I went and picked those little yellow up-turned faces. Then I had a handful of sunshine that I wanted to put in a vase, but that didn't really work with the selling-the-house look I was going for either, so I took a photo for those of you who appreciate pretty weeds as much as I do.
Three open homes this week which prompts me to ask: is it actually possible to die from cleaning? Will let you know as the selling season progresses.
Meanwhile, because tales of cleaning are boring, here is a tale of how to get a tradie in Tasmania:
Monique, who is a very lovely friend of mine, set off to travel around Australia six years ago, got as far as Broome and stayed there for six years. She finally made it back to Tasmania at the beginning of this year, and spent a month with tradesmen in and out of her house repairing six years of rental wear and tear. A couple of weeks ago I texted her to ask if she could recommend a good handyman. She sent me Charlie's number as he had been doing some painting for her.
I texted Charlie asking if he could do some work for me during the following week, and he rang back.
"You know I'm not a qualified tradesman? I can be an extra pair of hands for you though."
Excellent, that is just what I needed.
"Where do you live?"
"Ah, clearly Monique didn't mention that I live south of Hobart."
"Ah, no, she did not. Well, thanks anyway.."
A couple of days later I get a text from Charlie. "Actually, I am on my way to Greece, and will be coming through Launceston on the way to the ferry. I could give you two days work while I'm passing through?"
Magnificent. Problem solved. Then I text Monique. "Charlie can get here for two days. Is he the sort of person I could offer the spare room to?"
"Sure, I've known him for years, lovely guy. Will chew your ear off about Hinduism though.."
Well, you know, there are worse things to put up with..
Charlie arrived, ploughed on through the jobs I had for him, had dinner with us, was remarkably non-forthcoming about Hinduism, much to my relief, and told us that he was a photographer and had met Monique in Broome during the Kimberley gas hub protest.
"Isn't it a small world?" we say with great originality.
Next day Charlie remarked that he would text Monique and try and catch up as he hadn't seen her for ages.
"But weren't you doing some work for her recently?" I asked.
"No, haven't seen her for ages."
That's odd, I could have sworn she said Charlie had done some painting for her. Maybe I misread the text. My brain has been a bit sub-par recently.
Charlie texted Monique to arrange a get-together, and mentioned he was staying at her friend Jo's house.
"Jo who?" came the reply. Charlie sent my full name, and there was quite the period of radio silence. Half an hour later I get a phone call. It's Monique.
"Jo, I am sitting here in complete bewilderment. Who exactly do you have working at your house?"
"Um, Charlie? Photographer? Met you in Broome?"
"Oh my lord, I sent you the wrong Charlie! I have two Charlies in my phone, Charlie the painter who lives in St Helens and Charlie the photographer... but the other Charlie lives in Melbourne! How on earth is he painting your house???"
Unbeknown to Monique, Charlie had moved to Tasmania last year, and was totally unfazed when a strange woman contacted him asking him to do some handyman work for her on the recommendation of another woman who had known him briefly two years earlier as a photographer. Because seriously, that is often how you get things done in Tasmania. He will make a great local.
I hung up and headed outside to where Charlie was stripping paint off the side of the house.
"I have a great story for you, Charlie," I said.
Later I get another text from Monique: "I bet he doesn't know a single thing about Hinduism."