late yesterday afternoon. I, pardon me for mentioning this, flushed the 'loo and the cistern kept running. It overflowed.
The Senior Cat tried to turn the tap off at the base - only to discover that the plumber who had put in the new valve had, for some reason, made it impossible to turn the tap off.
The only solution was to turn off all the water to the house and call a plumber - or call my brother-in-law.
The Senior Cat is always reluctant to call his son-in-law. I cannot remember when he last did it.
"We can't bother him," the Senior Cat told me.
I looked at the Senior Cat and said
"It is after five. It is a Saturday. It is the long weekend. Where are you going to find a plumber? If you do find one they will charge a triple call out fee - and expect to be paid in cash."
"Yes, but I don't like bothering him."
"He won't mind because it is something you can't do yourself."
The Senior Cat grumbled but made the call.
"Not a problem, be round as soon as I can."
My BIL arrived about twenty minutes later with a plumber's toolkit and a new valve. He set to work and, half an hour later, the job was done and the mess had been cleared away.
I knew he would be able to do it. I knew he had the toolkit. He does most of the maintenance on their own home, the home that belongs to his father and the two houses that belong to their family trust and are rented out. He saves them thousands of dollars every year by dealing with all the electrical work because he is an electrical engineer by profession and can do the work as long as a mate of his, a licensed electrician, checks it. (He does things for his mate in return.) He does all but the most major plumbing work. He can paint. He has a builder's licence - obtained when he bought a run down house and turned it into the very nice home they now live in.
He can turn his hand to almost anything. If he doesn't know how to do something he will find out. He has sought advice about woodworking from the Senior Cat - who helped him build the kitchen cabinets in the first house they lived in and then the current house.
The Senior Cat was of course apologetic about calling him.
"Not a problem," my BIL said again, "You never ask unless it is something you can't do yourself."
"I could have done it once," muttered the Senior Cat.
"You're getting a bit older...and anyway you can still do other stuff."
Right. He can. The piano stool he was given to repair went back to the owner yesterday. It was pulled completely to pieces and now looks almost new.
But I think the real reason for my BIL's willingness to help is that his own family tends to call on him for anything and everything. We have a firm rule that we only ask if it something we cannot do ourselves.