Friday, 27 March 2015


Continuing with the theme (sort of) of the exigencies of island life and having to get stuff delivered, we have:-

(a) a mirror which has got a sort of a blotch on it (see above) so we need a replacement piece of mirror glass; and

(b) a sofa bed one of the foam cushions of which has gone saggy (see below) so we need a piece of foam

This presented sourcing challenges - do they sell cut to measure pieces of mirror glass on this island? And I'd be almost certain they don't sell made to measure cushion foam on Flores, but can it be sent here at reasonable expense?

First the foam. A bit of internet research led us to TWFoam. An e-mail correspondence with Tracy French at this company patiently answered numerous queries about foam densities suitable for sofa beds, wisdom or otherwise of stockinette covers and the inevitable postage costs to the Azores. Having double checked they really did mean £50 including p+p, I asked how I could pay and they said I should phone. Which I did. A bloke with a deep scouse accent answered and the conversation went as follows:-

NK - Hello, my name's King, I've been in e-mail correspondence with Tracy ...
Scouse bloke - Yeah, that's me ...
NK - Oh, you don't sound like a Tracy ...

In the background, Carol was listening to this and was doubled up with mirth.

But had we been guilty of some grotesquely egregious transgender prejudice? I was momentarily gripped with an image of:-

Let's not dwell. The fact remains the foam arrived last week - no welching over the postage costs this time - and we are well happy with it. With hindsight, we now particularly value the tip on TWFoam's website to add an extra centimetre for a snugger fit and how the stockinette cover helps you slip it in more easily. As Tracy said to the bishop ...

Now for the mirror glass. I had my doubts they would sell it here. But Carol had more faith and suggested we go to Joao Lourenco, the biggest builders' merchants on Flores. The staff at JL are very good, particularly "User Friendly" Vera at the Sta Cruz branch and "Can Do" Carlos at Lajes.

Given my doubts, I'd been practising a long spiel in Portuguese along the lines of "I don't suppose by any remote chance ..." and also a lot of stuff about might it be possible to order from the continent with mental pictures in my mind about how expensive it would be to pack a piece of made to measure mirror glass in a bespoke wooden packing frame ...

In the end, I went in to JL's in Lajes, plonked the existing mirror on the desk and said to Can Do Carlos:-

Pode ser? [Any chance?]

To which CDC replied:-

Sim [yes]

... got out his tape measure, went through to the armazem (store) to cut it, came back and told me it was only 7,50€

Bob's your uncle [Roberto e o teu tio].

It reminded me of a scene in a Woody Allen film where he goes up to a jeweller's window and cuts a hole in the glass and it's not the jewellery he wants but the piece of glass. Ring a bell?

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