Dank weather envelopes West Yorkshire this Tuesday morning. Or at least it did until a few moments ago when solar rays briefly emanated from an axe wound shaped aperture in overhead cloud formations, prior to swiftly teleporting back to whence it came.

The first paragraph not the most exciting thing you’ll ever read. However, stick with me and I’ll endeavour to raise the interestingness level of the remaining prose to the lofty plateau of ‘Not As Tedious’…… I’m not promising anything at this juncture, but if I fall short of my aspirations it won’t be from the want on not trying.

Today, I’m penning this prose sitting in a comfortable armchair in the magnolia fest which is my mums living room. My inability to write from my usual station de chromate at a south Leeds shopping centre cafe a consequence of baby sitting the power company engineer fitting my mater’s smart meter.

Footnote – Clearly, when I refer to an engineer fitting my mother’s smart meter I’m referring to the installation of a computerised device to capture and relay her abode’s gas and electricity usage. I wasn’t alluding to she having a smart meter installed upon her person to monitor personal TV viewing data, or record the numerous occasions she tells people “That’s nice!!’.

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On commencement of this paragraph the amiable, but fairly reserved engineer is outside installing a new gas meter. While quilling this element of the prose, I’m accompanied by a hammering melody which though lacking aural beauty, is at least been delivered in a metronomically accurate three-quarter time, which placates my ingrained OCD.

As is the old lady’s forte, my mum Maggie is her usual genial self while portraying the hostess role during a guests tarriance. A part in which she thrives. The ‘everything and everyone is nice’ baseline afforded to individual, or circumstances, on initial assessment unsurprisingly relayed to our labouring visitor.

Another new acquaintance for her to label “Nice!” – A behavioural trait which is “Nice!” and, like a stopped clock, can be occasionally right. However, to my mind, is misguided and leaves her vulnerable to those in society who clearly aren’t. Opinions delivered from a well-meaning juncture, however, a naive generic judgement strategy which raises concerns about her susceptibility to predatory lowlife.

My late dad was less sweepingly trusting, especially in later life. A fact that’d incur the wrath of his spouse whose trust levels were the very anti-thesis of her deeply loving, but more suspicious, husband.

Examples of the old man’s mistrust included asking an engineer servicing his gas fire if he bore the relevant gas fitting accreditations to undertake the job; along with possessing a penchant for ensuring anything he’d lent friends/family were returned swiftly and in tact.

In 2016, dad badgered me for months to return a favourite Jools Holland CD, which was actually mine anyway! In the summer of 2017, a few months before his passing in Wakefield Hospice he was also adamant he promptly return his ladders which I’d borrowed but forgotten about.

On this occasion the item did actually belong to him. However, as  he could barely alight his armchair at that juncture, never mind scale his ladders to clean the guttering, it seemed to me an idiosyncratic request.

From a personal perspective, I’m more like my father when it comes to forming initial opinions about individuals. Unlike my mum, although I probably did do this a few years back, I won’t immediately judge everyone as nice; not until they’ve to prove otherwise. I’ve had my fingers burned too many times by toxic, back-stabbing individuals to offer them such immediate unconditional reverence.

As it turns out this engineer does seem nice. I’ve left temptation in his path as he’s wondered back and forth between the kitchen and the gas/electricity meters. However, thus far he’s not touched the good watch I’ve left tantalisingly on a shelf by the front door, or indeed the £50 of the cash I’d taken from my mum’s purse to test his resolve.

That being said, the £50 is concealed in my jeans pocket, consequently, unless he includes pickpocketing on his felonous CV (resume), that’ll be safe from villainy….. If he doesn’t manage to pick my pocket, I believe under the 1968 Finders Keepers Act the money will become my property.

Anyhow, I need to conclude the narrative at this juncture, I’ve a few errands to run now the engineer’s departed following installation of the smart meter……. Additionally, I’m gonna assist my mum in her attempts to locate the £50 that’s evidently gone missing from her purse!!