As I was walking down to the post office last Friday, attempting to post all my overseas cards before the last posting date, I could have sworn that I saw Verity's Max speeding by in his car, the indicator flashing as though he was heading back to his former home. I haven't seen him in the village since Verity threw him out back in April, so I wasn't entirely certain, but the car was definitely familiar. I speeded up my steps to the post office, joined the lengthy queue of like-minded people and eventually returned home only to discover I'd left Celeste's presents on the kitchen table, and she has now decided she will be staying in Switzerland after all since it has snowed, so it was back to the Post Office again before they closed for lunch...
All of which meant that by the time I was able to phone Verity to ask if she knew Max was driving through the village, there was no answer. I think she had said she would be at a planning lunch for next year's Diamond Jubilee celebrations in our local town, though it was probably a Christmas lunch for the planning committee without any actual work being done. Either way, I wasn't able to get hold of her that day, or over the weekend. Finally, yesterday, she returned one of my calls. She was unusually vague about where she had been over the weekend, but she was able to confirm that it had indeed been Max who I had seen on Friday.
"Wretched solar panel people, couldn't actually pick a day to turn up and then keep to it," she said, "so I asked Max to be there and make sure they didn't leave a hole in the roof."
"I didn't realise you were even talking to Max," I said.
"Well, it wasn't ideal, but he at least knows where all the various switches are in the house that they might have needed access to," she admitted. The words came in a rush, as though I wasn't the first person she'd had to explain to.
"Why couldn't they come back today instead, when you could be there?"
"Oh, I'm not staying at home today, I have some book thing to go to and then some Christmas shopping to do. Besides, it would be too late for the deadline - haven't you been following the news? I thought you were going to get solar panels yourselves."
We had looked into solar panels at one point, but the outlay needed was horrific and I thought the subject had been dropped. I asked the OH when he got home, though.
"Oh, there was a good deal on the price you could sell the electricity back, and they're halving it from tomorrow. That's what she meant about the deadline. Still haven't ruled it out, though. As technology improves, the price of the panels and their installation will probably come down, we can do it then. Seems the decent thing to do." And he went back to reading the post while the TV was still on, wasting more electricity.
I'm going to have to invite Verity for lunch at some point, I think, to find out exactly what's going on, because she's far too keen to rush through phone calls and dash off at present. It can't all be because she has to finish her Christmas shopping!