well, at least the dining room floor is clean …

Pete called up to me that there was a “flood in the dining room”. This seemed … odd, but I went down to have a look. And indeed, there was. The hose coupling wossname on the pipe from the outside tap to the water butt we use for fish water had come apart, leaving the tap on full, and the hose pointing at the patio doors. Which were open.

It’s *amazing* how much water a tap can produce in half an hour, and of course as it was coming through a hose it sprayed everywhere. The mat by the patio doors is utterly sodden, and is currently draped over the aforementioned water butt. The cheap but large Ikea rug under the dining table is also sodden, and is now draped over the back yard wall – I doubt it will recover, to be honest.

We moved all the furniture into the living room end, and I mopped and mopped the floor, then dried it with a towel. We also dried off bookcases, wine racks and other sundry wet items of furniture.

Thank heavens the weather is warm and sunny, and forecast to stay that way for a while. Pete was wet through, but he changed his clothes rather than be draped over something outside.

We’re now going to go out for a sandwich, as I don’t want to keep walking on the wettish floor through to the kitchen.

[edited to add]
As a friend points out, if we’d been out the patio doors would have been closed. So it’s a shame we were in, really.


Pete went to Finland last Monday (that’s 25 October) with his sister, to bury his mother’s ashes and see lawyers and bankers about her estate. He left me with a non-working boiler (see previous post).

Some friends popped in first thing Monday to take a look, but it was beyond their abilities, so I called the people who had fixed (if they did indeed fix) the pressure gauge a few weeks previously. They arrived after Pete had been delivered to the railway station, prodded and poked, tutted a bit, and said I needed a new PCB. They scuttled off to fetch one from their supplier, fitted it and … there was at least power, but no ignition. They prodded and poked some more, but couldn’t fix it, so that was £154 for not much.

In desperation, I phoned British Gas. They do a range of repair services, and I opted for the fixed price at £99, parts and labour, with a further 12 months at £20 for any other repairs (apart from scale related ones, which paints a lovely picture to me). This was the right decision, as in the end we had a new ignition board, new wiring and pressure valve to replace the ones that had melted(!), and it required the services of two BG engineers and two visits to fix – we had a little coven of gas vans outside.

On the Monday night we had a problem with the web servers that I didn’t know how to fix, and Pete was not answering his phone, so I panicked quite a lot. Hat tip and huge thanks to ICUK, our ISP, who sorted it out for me, working late into the night. There were some other bits and bobs that needed Pete’s attention, but they all got sorted thanks to the all-you-can-eat internet from a Finnish telco and his trusty netbook. But by then I was so bloody stressed and exhausted that I took Thursday and Friday off in a virtual sort of way, and just answered e-mails.

On Friday night I drove across the Pennines to Manchester airport to collect him from a flight due to land at 22:20. Which actually landed at 23:00, and there was a huge queue at immigration, so he didn’t get through til 23:20. There is *nothing* at Manchester T3 except a Spar. I had nothing to read, no headphones, and had a fairly miserable wait WITHOUT TEA. So we decided to stop on the way back, but UK services are very poor in the middle of the night, so we just used the loos and carried on. Was very nice to have him home, I can tell you.

The Merc is very enjoyable for that sort of run, but the wind across the Pennings was ferocious that night, and it wallowed a bit.

We had a slumping day on Saturday, and on Sunday went to look at Magnet kitchens (nice, but too expensive for my tastes), then had a walk round Cottingham, and a £6.99 carvery in the West Bulls, which was better than you might think.

And now – life is back to what passes for normal. I hope.

things come in threes, don't they

I hope that’s true, and that our run of bad luck with things mechanical/electrical is over.

  1. The web servers, requiring us to spend a frantic weekend and bursts of frenetic activity over the next few days while we built new ones
  2. Followed by the car which, as detailed here, shat itself spectacularly at its MOT, with repairs costing pretty much the same price as we paid for it, and meaning we bought a new* one (well, new to us, but 12 years old)
  3. Yesterday, the boiler overheated (are they supposed to do that?). We turned it off for safety’s sake, and to let it cool down, and now we can’t light the pilot, so it worketh not, and it’s bloody cold. I can cope without the central heating – there’s a gas fire in the living room, and we have plenty of blankets and so forth; but there’s NO HOT WATER, which is just horrible. And Pete is off to Finland this morning for five days, and I’m just miserable. And cold.

Could someone please make it stop?

on yer 'ead

as those of you who have visited Ramtops’ Repose will know, we have a dutch airer device suspended in the kitchen, from which we hang kitchen paraphenalia such as colanders and spoons and so forth. It also supports a two tier wire hanging basket, which is our onion repository.

at least, it did – until last night when, as I was trying to remove a shallot from its upper tier, the bloody basket fell off and, pausing only to smite me on my head, deposited its oniony contents all over the worktop, and knocking over the bowl for Stuff destined for Modo, the compost heap, thus adding used tealeaves and so forth to the mess.

I gave an almighty shriek, probably bloodcurdling – from shock, more than anything – and perlmonger rushed downstairs to see what horrors a cat had perpetrated, because that’s what normally causes shrieks in this household. Although now I come to think of it, I bet SomeCat had somehow caused it.

later on, we watched Ray, which was better than I thought it would be; in fact, it was very fine indeed. Recommended.

when it was over, I found myself with one particular song from it running through my head – You Don’t Know Me. But it wasn’t his version … It took a while to identify it, but eventually I sussed that it was Meryl Streep, from Postcards From the Edge, another very fine film which I must watch again shortly.