Some things are too good to keep to yourself….

We are building an extension which does not entail anything like the disruption to daily life experienced with the kitchen makeover, as it is, after all…an extension.
On the end of the house.
Away from me.
Dust is blown away into the garden…..
Nothing has had to be moved out to remain infuriatingly elusive for weeks….

The Men need feeding, true…but they do anyway.

We had planned to build a new house up in the cafetal and had gone so far as to have plans drawn up, install a septic tank and plant trees in readinesss…..and then we thought…
The views are beautiful up there it is true and we would still be sheltered from the strong winds of December by the mountain behind but we’ve grown to love this little house and the garden we’ve made around it and, at our age, what on earth do we want with a whopping Italianate villa on two floors with a tower!

So…the extension.

The Men are at the stage of painting the inner walls and yesterday, having a number of things to do in town, went to buy more paint to match the wall they had started on, taking the paint lid with them as well as the mix number.
The young man in the shop set up his machine…and looked puzzled.

It’s not the same.

He called his boss who confirmed that it was not the same colour. The Men concurred.
My husband suggested that perhaps one of the nozzles was blocked.

No, no, I’ve done everything properly.

But we’ve started painting….

The boss intervened.

I’ll tell you what….I’ll give you double the paint in this colour for the price and then you can paint over what you’ve done and it will be all right.

Agreement was reached and, other errands accomplished the Men returned in the late afternoon to take coffee and discuss the next day’s programme.

There was the noise of a motorcycle engine and the Alsatian took off…he is not keen on anything disturbing his slumbers and a motorcycle rates at the top of his dislike list.
The engine stopped somewhere up the road and a voice was heard calling.

My husband went out to find the Alsatian sitting at the gates and the motorcyclist standing very still behind his machine. While actually a peaceful animal the dog has a certain way of sitting and looking that reminds one of the immovable object…and it was clear that the motorcyclist did not intend to be the irresistible force.

It was the young man from the shop. Cautiously he held out a small plastic wrapped packet.
It was paint, to add to the mix to get the proper colour. The boss had dismantled the machine and found that, indeed, one of the nozzles was blocked and this was the colour that should have come from it.

Just mix it in and you’ve got the paint you wanted.

My husband thanked him and went to get the money for the extra paint they had been given.

No! The boss said it was our fault….and he sent me out straight away in case you had started to use the paint.

Would the young man take a coffee…a beer?

No…he would not. He had to get back to work….and, once the gates were closed between him and the Alsatian, that is what he did, his motorcycle kicking up dust and stones on the road up the hill.

To me, this is something too good to keep to myself….that a shopkeeper is not only willing to get you out of a mess by giving extra materials…but also sends his shopman out with the pukka gear to get to you before you’ve started with the new stuff…..
Not just service…but thoughtfulness.

It wasn’t the only good thing that happened yesterday…..
There’s a new prosecutor at the Fiscalia….and he’s been getting to grips with his job.

My husband had been summoned to see him by telephone that morning and dropped in on his shopping trip…to find about half the inhabitants of the Three Valleys in the waiting area.

The new prosecutor had unearthed the files on the would be developer and his Mr. Fix-it…The Neighbour.

The people giving us all trouble with our water supply.

The new prosecutor wanted to know why all the complaints had been filed and parked in a cupboard.

From the noises coming from the offices it sounded as though these were not the only files parked out of sight and out of mind…….

From the noises coming from the offices it also seemed that the new Prosecutor was not very happy….

Secretaries came and went at the gallop…people were ushered in and out of offices at speed….my husband’s turn came.

Did he uphold his complaints ?

Yes, he did.

Sign here.

What will happen?

Well, the files won’t be going back into the cupboard….

So, a new judge up at the court and a new prosecutor at the Fiscalia……The Neighbour had better watch his step.

And the best of all…an improvement in my husband’s health.

He has been diagnosed with something enchantingly known as Miller Fisher/ CANOMAD…..which always has me thinking of Noel Coward singing ‘Mad Dogs and Englishmen….which is related to the better known syndrome Guillain-Barre.

What it means for him is that should he catch a ‘flu, his antibodies – instead of going for the intruder – go for the sheathing of his nerves, leaving him progressively paralysed.

And it’s a quick progression.

From a tingling in the hands and lips it can be complete paralysis and coma within  two hours. Treatment has to be fast and has to follow a particular cycle to avoid death or permanent damage to the nervous system.

Well, over the years, over many attacks, the treatment hasn’t always been fast enough and the cycle hasn’t always been respected.

There are many consequences, but one in particular has been that his blood pressure swings alarmingly from high to low and back again…migraines at one extreme, faintness at the other. It doesn’t make life fun.

We’ve always taken precautions against high blood pressure…I don’t use salt, I use as few prepared foods as possible….but it’s the swings which have proved insoluble.

Until recently.

He has been reading  up on blood pressure and discovered that it is controlled by three elements…the kidneys, the nervous system and sodium and potassium ‘pumps’.

Well, the kidneys are fine…but the nervous system is shot to bits…so he reckoned his potassium levels needed to be upped to compensate.

He bought a tub of salt substitute…potassium iodide and potassium chloride (I think)….sprinkled it on his food…and not only is his blood pressure stable but it is that of a young man.

With Mad Dog syndrome he could still drop dead tomorrow…..but in the meantime his quality of life has improved out of all measure!

That is certainly something too good to keep to myself!



41 thoughts on “Some things are too good to keep to yourself….”

  1. Delighted to hear the positive health news, and the story of the paint is so heartening. Having fought a fight today on behalf of one of my students, all I can say is that your paint supplier in Costa Rica has much to teach PC World. Now, that’s a sentence you won’t read every day.

    1. After France where whatever it is is always the fault of the customer…you used it Madame…I was as much stunned as delighted!
      What interests me is how he knew where to find us….the local grapevine must be first class!

  2. For a shopkeeper to even admit to having made a mistake with a blocked nozzle is quite something, but to deliver the correct paint at no charge to you is amazing. I had a Great Dane who always looked very fierce and everyone stopped at the gate 🙂

    Salt substitute, now that is interesting as I never use salt, I wonder if that would sort out my blood pressure? Great news that your husband is doing so well over there, long may it last and that you have many years together still. Take care Diane

    1. There’s something about a big immovable dog…

      I’ve always had high blood pressure and I started using the salt substitute at the same time….it is lower.

      Just hoping that I am not tempting fate by describing an improvement….!

  3. Life is good. You’ve made me feel that life is good indeed.

    The style and real clarity of your writing always gives me pleasure Fly – regardless of topic. But an honest, thoughtful shop owner; improved quality of life and a Prosecutor with integrity… a hat-trick worth celebrating. Crack open that Highland Park… x.

  4. Always nice when a business goes the extra mile for us. Too bad it doesn’t happen more often. And I’m so happy your husband found something to help his condition. I wish him well. 🙂

  5. Lots of good news all round then. The neighbour might get it in the neck finally, your extension build is proving to be easy peasy, an alsatian keeps the riff raff from your door (an occasional faux pas has to be accepted) and your husband has found that the doctors don’t always know what they’re talking about.

    What’s more, you probably have excellent weather conditions!

  6. As a gardener you know how it feels when for once the greenfly haven’t attacked, slugs have retreated and nothing has a fungal disease.
    They are rare days…but most appreciated…so you’ll know how I feel about a run of good things happening!

  7. Fantastic, so so happy for all of you, for all the reasons listed in this marvelous entry! Life is easier and affirmed in so many wonderful ways. Sigh. Life is good.

  8. Your blog ate my first comment, so I’ll try again. This is all really good news, especially about your husband and I hope it continues. You sound so joyful, it’s lovely. Is your husband going to go out and buy Butterflies of Costa Rica to celebrate? I would 🙂

    1. Let joy be unconfined!

      Of course, being a bit of an Eyeore I’m keeping fingers – or hoofs – crossed that having mentioned good news the heavens don’t regard it as hubris and send a plague of man eating voles…

  9. So very happy to hear about Mr. Fly. Wonderful news.

    As for your other news…it’s obviously not just the climate that’s changing!

    Myself, I had to get some paper work done today, something I always put off for as long as possible because it can eat up your life and all your faith in humanity here in Spain. And lo and behold, I wasn’t asked for a countersigned copy of my school report from 1970, or my cat’s vaccination records for the last 13 years or any other trumped up rubbish. Everything was straightforward, the staff were polite and efficient, and even though I had to visit 5 separate offices (Spain can only change so much), I had the piece of paper in my hand 45 minutes later! A personal record.

    I raise my glass to Mr. Fly’s improved health and to all the other positive changes.

  10. Thank you! It’s lovely to see him enjoying his life again.

    I am amazed by your land speed record through Spanish bureaucracy….what is happening?…and happily raise a glass in turn to your success!

    But I don’t think I’d chuck out the cat’s vaccination records just yet….

  11. An excellent post, Helen, in tone and content!
    It’s amazing what small amounts of these elements can do, isn’t it. Potassium is one – I didn’t know it could have such effects – but I know that magnesium is one that I sometimes lack and when I get a dose, I’m a new woman!
    Must go and read ‘Pueblo Girl’s blog now – her story sounds so familiar!
    Long may the effects of today last! Axxx

  12. Hi again, Helen. Nice post. I look forward to pictures of the remodel… and aren’t you glad you do not own a “luxury house” with taxes on those babies going through the roof?

    It always amazes me when Costa Ricans can be as humble, kind, and generous as your paint store manager. Amazing. Good news about the Fiscal, too. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you that he remains as open and professional as it appears at the moment. And *great* news about your husband’s blood pressure with that added potassium salts. I have been taking a potassium additive with my calcium for about a year now, and I have FAR fewer stiff muscles than before. Those “pumps” are very important for all muscles in the body.

    1. Well it was certainly a bundle of good news…and of course, the prosecutor has only just arrived…the local ‘powers that be’ haven’t had a chance to make their ‘representations’ yet…we’ll see.

  13. That’s the kind of good news post I love reading almost as much as you must have loved writing it, Helen. With customer service like that, a new prosecutor about to put a crimp in The Neighbour’s antics and a most welcome improvement in your husband’s health, there’s a lot to celebrate. 🙂

  14. I’m delighted that Mr Fly has found a solution to one of his health problems. He (and you) must be very relieved and thankful.

    How lovely of the paint man to go to so much trouble, and doesn’t it make you feel good about the human race when something like this happens?

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