A key issue . . .

We had a small problem recently involving the disappearance of the key to our dependencia – the small building in our field which houses our generator, solar batteries, and the invertor.

Every Monday The Boss carries out what he calls his “weekly checks”: he measures the level of water in our cisterna (we don’t have mains water, and need to organize a delivery by tanker when we’re running low). He also looks at the various components of our solar-powered electricity system to make sure all is as it should be. After he’s locked up the outbuilding, he always returns the key to its hook in a key cupboard we have in the house. He’s a Virgo – it’s what they do.

But when he came to do his Monday checks a couple of weeks ago, the hook was empty. This small discovery set off a massive search of the pockets of every pair of trousers and shorts he possesses (well, except the suit – he never wears that around the finca). We turned out drawers and cupboards, looked in the most ridiculous of places – you never know – and finally concluded that the darned thing was well and truly lost. We’d have to get a new key.

Looking for a locksmith

We do try and use local companies and shops whenever possible and, although we knew that there were companies in Palma that could help us – 24 hours a day, it seems – we wanted to support a local business. So The Boss set about finding a locksmith in our nearest town, Manacor, aware that replacing a lock that’s part of a reinforced metal door was going to cost rather a lot of money.  But it had to be done – and quickly. If there’s a thunderstorm, we need to be able to disable the whole system, to avoid damage to the invertor  (once was enough of that!).

There seemed to be several potential local companies in the phone book and, rather than try and negotiate over the phone, we set off to town with map in hand to deal face-to-face with one of these craftsmen.

We drew a blank at each of the advertised companies. The addresses we visited were either for completely unrelated businesses or were old abandoned premises. But when we later rang one of the numbers to see if they’d moved to a new address, we discovered it was a company in Palma. Not local at all then. Subsequent visits to ironmongers in town confirmed our growing fears: there don’t seem to be any locksmiths operating on an individual basis anymore.

At this point I remembered our house insurance; we read the policy small print, and called the company. The new lock would be covered by insurance, and they’d arrange for an emergency locksmith (from Palma, of course) to do the job within 24 hours.

We didn’t know whether to be embarrassed or relieved to have to phone the company back a few hours later. The Boss had found the key . . . which had somehow found its way under a thick rug in our bedroom. One of those ridiculous places we hadn’t checked earlier!

The Boss has since had duplicate keys cut for ever single lock around the property: a job we’d been meaning to do ever since we bought the place! What jobs do you have that you’ve been putting off, or have slipped your mind?

A better type of insurance against future key loss . . .

A better type of insurance against future key loss . . .

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