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Thora is now unlocked


Here is the weekly Ward’s World column, written by John Ward…

As life returns to the usual total chaos after two years and a bit of the coronavirus situation, I was going to see some friends we hadn’t seen since the start of the original lockdown, so the visit was long overdue.

The initial greetings were done and dusted off as the suggestion to make a teapot was suggested, voted on, accepted and postponed and implemented within minutes.

John Ward, Spalding Guardian columnist (55894386)

We went through the now usual routine of “how we haven’t changed much” in both cases, although to be fair, or light gray now, as Jeff’s hairstyle now keeps pace with mine, but until now no one has called it ‘distinguished or exceptional’ like what I sometimes hear about mine – or I think that’s what they say.

It was while having tea that it was mentioned by Barb, Jeff’s wife, that due to the panwosit (pandemic) it had been difficult to fix things as some tradesmen were afraid to enter a dwelling private – at this point I asked if there was anything in particular they were referring to.

Barbara explained the following nugget: “Our Torah is stuck halfway”, which you don’t hear every day, or panwosit for that matter, so that was kind of educational for me.

Her stairlift is called “Our Torah” after Thora Hird, the late and well-known actress who at one time advertised or promoted a certain brand of stairlift a few years ago, but although it wasn’t a particular brand, they always affectionately called him ‘Our Torah’, but he now had some youthful issues.

Would I like to take a look? I was kindly asked as it “could only be something simple or easy to fix” so out of curiosity I took a look at this make and model with a sticker of the Union Jack “Proudly British” flag on the box under the seat.

Removing the cover it was quite instructive to see that the motor was made in Italy, the gearbox assembly was from Taiwan, the bearings were made in Hungary with the switchgear, or part, made in China , so it’s a safe bet that the sticker itself may have been made – or printed – in Britain.

The chair was stuck halfway up the stairs but did not respond to the command although the pilot light came on to suggest the power supply was present but whatever you did nothing happened as in the moving up or down or even shaking it all over, hokey-cokey or otherwise.

I asked, silly as it sounds, if they had called the “Totally Dedicated 24/7 Help Line” phone number by the Union Jack sticker they had and “talked to a nice guy” in India – or Delhi to be precise – which is far from the Essex address of manufacturers or, as we now know, possibly stairlift assemblers if what we found is anything to judge by.

Jeff had spoken to someone called Aarush who asked him how the weather was great today before asking him how he could help or why was he phoning today but told Jeff the weather was “normal hot” where he was talking about.

Jeff pointed out he was paying for the call, didn’t really ring to hear a weather report on where Aarush was, but to have his stairlift sorted as he had no idea Delhi had somehow been moved to Essex as he wanted to speak to someone in Essex not Delhi.

Then, after some silence, plus a hint about the weather in Delhi, Aarush said it had nothing to do with a food mixer, while Jeff said they didn’t have a food mixer. , certainly not one with a seat on it and armrests, but if that means there’s a blender that can carry Barbara upstairs, then so be it.

After some sort of Q&A session, Aarush told him that the stairlift’s name was “very similar” to a brand of mixer that “they” (?) also provided support for, hence the confusion. from Jeff it was said as Aarush rang.

As he explained all of this, their cat Webster decided to jump on the seat and root as he sat down and preened. I asked why his name was Webster – did he surf the internet like the ‘web’ maybe?

It was called Webster after one of their neighbors years ago who went out early at night and came back anytime between midnight and breakfast time, much like this cat – their cat previous to Webster was called Tyrone.

However, Tyrone met an untimely death, but the driver knocked on their door to tell them he hadn’t seen him as he was backing out of his garage and offered to get another one, hence the present Webster – you don’t understand that social history type stuff about ‘Eastenders’ do you?

Back to ‘Our Torah’: Webster was starting to get comfortable as, using a small mirror, I looked around under the seat in hard-to-see areas for clues about the why she was motionless. Now the stairs were starting to look like a surgeon’s cart with surgery tools lying around.

Then I thought maybe I would have found it. There was a small micro switch that looked like it was not aligned properly or rather one of the screws was loose so a small screwdriver was found I removed it completely to check it as movement was detected. No, Webster’s shot was the real sign of momentum.

What a surprise to find out that the change was made in Portugal, but who cares once back and realigned, Barb is enjoying life’s ups and downs again, but if you know of a blender who does the same job, please do let me know and I’ll pass the word on.