Thursday, 23 October 2008
In the bleak mid winter
What is it with workmen? Why do they have to leave the front door open, just because they are going to their van from time to time? Is it that hard to operate a Yale latch system? Maybe they are more the Harvard types, but that’s enough of my ludicrously sharp wit.
I shouldn’t really be being funny as it’s actually too cold. Surveys have shown that exuding an unnecessary torrent of continual high quality intelligent banter can, in the wrong circumstances, lower the body’s temperature by up to 3°.
So why am I so cold? Well firstly it is winter and the sun hasn’t come out yet, and secondly because my very ancient and never knowingly efficient central heating is in the process of being upgraded to a modern, state of the art, A rated, fully programmable, microprocessor included, thoroughly flushed heating super system! (Do you think I should copyright that?)
New boiler, new pipe work, new radiators, new thermostats, new wireless controls, all very modern. But what an effing ada of a palaver.
It all seemed so simple to start with, British Gas came round to give me my bench mark quote, and when I had managed to pick myself off the floor, and make my way to the chair, had two sherries and a cold compress, I got someone else to come and do it for a lot less money.
Yes of course it will fit in the toilet, not a problem, yes there is plenty of room, yes a perfect choice, suits you sir! Let me just write this up and I’ll send the paperwork through to head office. You want the work done on 20th and 21st of October, our pleasure sir, a very quick job indeed; they’ll be in and out.
The various bits of paper I have been sent since, talk about dust sheets, tool boxes with rubber bottoms, engineers bringing their own flasks of tea so you don’t have to worry about that etc etc etc. So really I could have left them the key and they’d have just got on with it.
Not likely. Firstly it wouldn’t fit in the loo, so now it is in an alcove in the bedroom, which I think will be good, but I didn't want it there. The key issue was to have it moved from a very handy cupboard in the bedroom to make way for further storage space. They are now on day four of their two day job. Tuesday, day two, was peppered with some stern words to 'customer service' which resulted in an extra engineer coming yesterday ‘to ensure the job got completed’. Much action did take place yesterday, but it is still not finished. But I’m hopeful about having the place warm by Christmas. The problem is they are contracted from Ipswich, and don’t get here until 11.00 and leave at 3.00, with 3 hours driving either side. Today is their last day or I’ll poo in their van!
The electrician is here at the moment. He is very dedicated to his job but when I foolishly asked him what bonding the earth meant (not just randomly, he had told me he was about to ensure the earth was bonded), I got 12 minutes on the history of electrical regulations for homes. Apparently edition 15 of the Institute of Electrical Engineers Wiring Regulations was very different to edition 17 published this September. Now back in the fifties you could put a live wire by a warming kettle, but in ’74 they decided that before you could use a hairdryer it was necessary for everyone in the room to stand behind a rubberised fire grate. And so he went on. It was at this point that I realised that he probably didn’t have a girlfriend. ‘How interesting’ I announced. ‘It’s like the DoH and their guidance on red wine, always changing!’ (institute of wine drinkers miss your limits regulations 1969 – 2008).
I better crack on. Dumb and Dumber will be here soon to flush my system and make good my walls. I’m starting to worry that they’ll have to come every day forever and I’ll never be warm, and everything that should be in the bedroom will be in a big pile in the middle of the sitting room, and that I will forever be breathing in brick dust and boiling pans of water on t’hob.