Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Gas Man Cometh


We have just spent 4 weeks without our boiler.

In October we decided it was time for the boiler to have it's annual service. A little man came round from whoever it is we employ for this purpose and he tested this, that and the other. Then, instead of telling us that all was well he mention ed that the flue was rusting and there was contamination and a slight leak of carbon monoxide. He also discovered that the pipe leading from the meter to the boiler was too narrow, (and also for some reason when the boiler was installed some years back they connected the two via the gas hob?!?! Oh, and the governor needs changing. I understand that is something on the meter not a comment about his boss.

He then proceeded to "cap off" the boiler until the repairs were done, leaving us with no hot water and no heating.

So, M and I spent a week discussing who and how we should get the repairs done. This seemed to revolve greatly around the fact that I'm not earning enough money. Once that discussion was finished we got in touch with M's daughter who works in property maintenance and she organised one of her companies to come round and quote. Excellent, it only took 3 days for them to fit in the 10 minute visit. Then, within only another three days they managed to tell G (M's daughter, [this is getting wuite Bond-like with all these initials]}, that it would cost quite a bit but not more than £500 as they hadn't got a price for the parts yet. So two weeks ago it was decided that yes, it had to be done, get on with it.

In the meantime, because we were diverting the external pipework for the flue in order to comply with building regs we had to get permission from our managing agents. Who didn't reply. So we wrote again. They still didn't reply. So we've told them we are doing it and saving that argument up for a later date.

We prepared for the glorious day of repairs by M taking everything out of the kitchen that might get in the way and blocking up the sitting room and me keeping quiet in case we got round to discussing my income again. Spare keys were left with G so they could pick them up and get in whilst we were at work and we looked forward to having heat and showers once more.

No-one turned up. An "emergency" had occurred. So bad was this emergency that it rendered them unable to ring and mention they wouldn't be arriving. (Full marks however for not going for the tried and tested "the clutch has gone on the van" excuse, much loved by the installers of home improvment products). They didn't turn up the next day, or the one after that. Now they weren't even ringing G back.

To cut a very long story down to only a long story, they turned up on Tuesday evening at 6pm, half an hour before we were going our for the evening. But they had the new flue, and the plume kit, and the extention needed, but they'd forgotten the new pipe for the meter/boiler connection. They'd also forgotten how much they were going to charge but it wasn't a problem as they'd emailed G with a price. Except apparently they had forgotten that too as she has never received it. They did however do enough to turn the boiler back on again!

Still, never mind as they now appear to have forgotten to come and get their money last night.

We have learnt three things from this experience.

1) M's grandfather lived in a croft in the Scottish Highlands and never had running hot water in his life. We would not have survived!

2) You know when you eat ice cream and it gives you a head ache that starts at the back of your nasal cavity? If you wash your hair with the shower when you only have freezing cold water you can recreate the aformentioned pain but centered on the top of your neck.

3) Apparently I haven't earnt enough money recently.

Bloody Technology

I've just typed a long post on the trials and tribulations of spending a month without hot water and heating and the computer has deleted it. Pretend you've read it, sympathise, mutter about bloody workmen these days, and be pleased that all is now well.

Right, I'm off to mess around with shelfloads of books again.

Good News. I found it!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Christmas Booking

So, The Wonderful World of Windows is proving to be a charity as I seem to be doing a great deal of working for no financial return. This being the case, and with the impetus of The Magnificent M using "a recurring loud voice to my ear interface", I have decided to get a part time job in the run up to Christmas.

Having perused various job sites I applied to a well known book purveyor and blow me down with a flapping dust cover, they decided they wanted me.

So, come Monday I will be Bookseller To The Gentry at Kingston. Or Richmond.....Chiswick.......Twickenham........Teddington, wherever they want to send me.

It feels like I'm turning over a new leaf.