It’s not often that I criticise our adopted home by the sea but recently I’ve found just one area where the heaving, stinking metropolis wins hands down. And that is tradesmen.
In London, due to the vast amount of competition for your cash, the average builder, aerial man, gas fitter or electrician will be over the next day bright and early to do the work and relieve you of your hard earned money.
In Lymington, priorities are different. First he may be one of only two electricians, second he might have a job on so won’t care and third he might be off sailing which in fact comes first.
So short of kidnapping Polish plumbers and busing them down to Lymington, I have adopted a more philosophical mindset. I listen to their excuses and unwind and become uncharacteristically patient. Here is a handy guide for the unwary.
Can I come over and have a look this week – I may pop in in the next 20 days
How big a job is it – unless you want the Great Wall of China we’re looking at next year
September any good for you – Let’s pretend but I’ll be sailing then anyway
I’m a bit busy at the moment – Give me your number and I’ll pretend to write it down and then never call you
It depends on the weather – because if it’s half way decent I’ll be sailing not doing your guttering and if it’s not good enough for sailing you won’t catch me up a ladder
That’s not something we normally do – If I can’t hit it with a hammer it’s not for us
To give you an idea, I asked four companies to quote for a big refurb job. Two companies turned up and never sent quotes, one sent a quote so massively inaccurate he hadn’t read the spec. When I pointed it out he said Excel has broken and trebled the price. The last one is great and we hired him.
So if you’re an entrepreneurial tradesman who wants to live somewhere wonderful, come to Lymington. You could become very rich.