Dido and Aeneas it is not…no one is sailing off to pastures new, no one is committing suicide.
One party is disgruntled…the other, on reflection, decidedly gruntled. The gruntled party is me.
You know how it goes…one party makes incessant demands…the other slowly and inexorably resents same…tension builds, yet it was a mutally beneficial relationship while it lasted..but has finally ended through the intervention of a third party, as these things so often do.
Those kind enough to follow these ramblings may remember the case of the negotiable cow some years ago, when the young man who lives with a lady whose father had rented our finca tried to stiff us for one thousand dollars in claiming that a cow of great value had suffered injury thanks to our negligence in maintaining the finca..the which maintenance, according to the contract, was down to those renting the finca.
The young couple have since moved into the finca in front of our gates, turning a beautiful green space into a diddicoy encampment. Animals cannot graze so are banged up in roughly built sheds, reliant on supplies of inadequate fodder
They seem to have overcome the problem of major debts…I believe the father sold another finca to keep the Colombian wolves from the door….but still live from hand to mouth…our hand to their mouth if they can manage it.
Since I have become more limited in what I can achieve, the offer from the young man to cover Sundays – letting the sheep out in the morning and shutting them up at night – was very welcome.
But very soon he started coming to the house, at all hours, asking to buy loo rolls, coffee, sugar – as if we were a shop – though for which, to be fair, he would pay on the nail. Leo, more patient than I am, went along with this, reminding me that the young man was not very bright and that he depended on the family.
In which case, since he worked like a dog for them why were they not supplying him with loo rolls, coffee and sugar?
Still he looked after the sheep well, so I let sleeping dogs lie and the loo rolls roll.
And then the old Adam reasserted himself…or, in this case, the old Eve.
Reckoning that while we would not lend her the drippings from our collective noses she thought she could make a flank attack, using the young man.
First it was that he was trying to build an independent enterprise, buying in chickens….
All he needed was the equivalent of one hundred pounds and it would make him free of the family…
No, it would not, said Leo, while he was keeping the birds on their finca….
Then he needed to pay off the hire purchase of a commercial freezer…..a loan of six hundred pounds to be paid off over six months – without interest because he could not afford that.
Leo doubted strongly that any commercial enterprise would agree hire purchase terms with a young man without an I.D. document – don’t ask – let alone paid employment….
Then Eve upped the stakes. The young man had a hernia…soon he would not be able to work. Not only had he no I.D. Document but he had no National Insurance coverage…so no treatment from the CAJA – the national health service.
He needed one hundred pounds for a private consultation.
Leo responded that he coukd have a free consultation as the family were members of the local co operative.
He is not family.
He had been for a private consultation…the op would cost four thousand five hundred pounds.
Leo…pull the other one it has bells on…bring me the estimate from the doctor.
No estimate and Eve drew in her horns…….slightly.
Three hundred pounds to buy avocados to sell door to door…
They would go off before you had had then two days…
The young man was pissing blood…needed a private consultation.
No he did not. The CAJA would treat him as an emergency and track down who should be paying his contributions.
He was not pissing blood.
We would be denounced for not paying his natiomal security for the Sundays.
Just try it!
In that case, said Eve, he cannot help you any more.
A neighbour has stepped in to help on Sundays and it is working well.
The young man wants his job back.
Agreed he is good with the sheep….but if he blows hot and cold at the bidding of Eve then he is no good to me.
So, no chance.
End of relationship…end of loo rolls.