As I take the dog for several walks every day, I bump into all kinds of people and will often stop for a little chat. One particular person moved into our area about six months ago. I met him in the park yesterday and was interested in how he was settling in.
He told me that he was disappointed at the prices of things and he went into a lengthy story explaining to me that he had been quoted £27,000 to have a conservatory built. He told me that he had questioned the sanity of the company quoting for the job.
The company apparently said that he needs a deep foundation and various other things that the man did not agree with. I thought for a moment about whether I should tell him about the underground streams, the deep foundations we had on our conservatory and the $17,000 we had paid, but finally decided against doing so.
Eventually, he told me he was getting a friend to do the work for only £7,000. But he didn’t stop there he also started telling me about the price of paint.
He told me he had gone into a local shop and asked for a small tin of enamel paint – you know, the tiny tins we used for painting Airfix models. The shopkeeper got a tin and requested £9 in exchange for the goods, to which the man replied (he is a Cockney) …
“You must be having a giraffe!”
Now I appreciate that if you are not located in England, you might not realise this term is Cockney rhyming slang, so let me translate for you. This phrase actually means …
“You must be having a laugh!”
So, £9 for a tiny tin of enamel paint – the man went on to say that he had been a painter all his working life and could quite easily mix some up himself with a bit of ash. Needless to say, he didn’t buy the paint. I thought to myself, ‘I guess that’s part of the price we pay for living in beautiful surroundings in one of our national parks by the sea’. The local shops are all geared up to the tourist trade and many items appear to be a bit over-priced.
Anyway, today I went into the local town to get my watch battery changed. Have you any idea what the local jewellers charge down here? Well, I’ll tell you. They charge £10!
Now they are definitely having a giraffe!