Friday, May 28, 1999

28/05/99 Boom!

An exciting day today, Margo's shop exploded!

Well, not quite that bad. All started off quite reasonably, in fact - I rang a client I've been neglecting for over a month now (pressure of work, all that) and managed to put off delivery of his useless system for yet another month, which I suppose means that I'll have to start working on it pretty soon - fobbed him off with the usual story of how I've been off work for two weeks and anyway the hardware won't be here for another two weeks anyway. So far so good.

On top of it the Swiss business looks as though it's finally finishing - things are becoming clear. It's all time billed out, so money-wise it's no problem, but it's still an enormous pain in the fundament.

Margo's shop, on the other hand, has a little three-story building next to it which is all in apartments, and around midday today the top-floor apartment exploded - apparently a leak from a gas bottle. About 70 m² of wall (not talking Kiwi wall here, talking good Frog stone & concrete wall about 80cm thick) fell on the shop roof and in the courtyard behind the shop. Result is that everyone's been evacuated, the street is closed to traffic, and the shop's been shut until further notice. At least no-one was hurt.

Now we just have to wait and see what happens: whose insurance will have to pay for loss of earnings etc, whether or not they have to pay rent for the period that the place is unusable, whether or not they bother opening up again (if it's closed for too long there's no point, they'll have lost too much money), whether or not the municipality will offer them temporary space in one of the boutiques they own in the street ....

I got down there about 16:00 to find Margo calmly discussing matters with cops, various elected officials and the other commercants of the street - mainly along the lines of "who's gonna pay?". Fair enough too. I must admit that if they continue to push the municipality probably will do something to help: they hate seeing small shops go under, especially in electorally sensitive areas.

Other than that life's fine. The weather's been lovely all week, temperatures up in the 30s (now that's what I call a temperature) and the rain's eased off so the grass isn't growing quite as quickly - plus repeated mowings seem to have frightened the grass a bit and it's rather more amenable. Just waiting till I get the 205 back from the garage now so that I can go and get some sand and some cement and concrete slabs and a big outdoor BBQ and I can get all that finished ...

Trevor & Margo

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