Well it’s been a weekend of paperwork, report reading and the obligatory plumbing. All of this has been interspersed with a significant step up in Ms Nature’s game with righty in particular really punishing me. As an engineer in a predominantly office based role I can’t think what Ms Nature finds to get so nasty about if I spend my weekend crawling through lost spaces and bending pipe but she is not happy.
For those of you that see me this week can I remind you that I am right handed so always lead with my right. That should help to reassure you that the cuts and bruises on the knuckles of my left hand are not the result of scraping! For those who don’t know me, well you can continue to labour under your mistaken belief. The truth is that two knuckles got caught on a broken tile and the bruised one got in the way of a hammer, repeatedly. One of the marvels of the world is that it takes a brief inaccuracy to land a hammer on a knuckle but this starts a relationship where you can strike that same spot repeatedly and with astounding accuracy.
On Sunday morning I awoke in the early hours and checked on my hot water. This habit will sound odd to anybody that has not experienced a thermostat failure on an old style immersion heater but to those of us that have it is a sensible precaution. I discovered that the tank was cold and, because I am an Engineer, this set in motion an investigation. First off I changed the fuse, it was 5am and my fault finding wasn’t at it most adept, to no avail. I waved my volt stick around the cupboard and it found no volts, anywhere. Next up was the distribution board which again was devoid of volts, I have two distribution boards one for normal and one for economy seven.
Venturing out into the corridor I discovered that the timer had not switched and my E7 had not engaged. I pondered what I could do to fix the issue and then remembered I was naked so I gave the box a slap and retreated. This morning I called my supplier who explained that, because I had no heating, this was an emergency call. Apparently for “health and safety” reasons I have to be present when he attends, the switch is outside of the flat so I questioned this. The call centre advised that if they have to turn the electricity off then they need to have access to “ensure that it has come back on”. Clearly this has nothing to do with health and safety and it is simple enough to check that the the supply is re-established without turning a light on but I resisted the urge to argue.
Apparently they don’t do weekend calls so I agreed to leave my keys with friends for the ’emergency’ appointment which they could arrange for the fifteenth of March! Needless to say there was considerably more conversation before the call was moved to today! It is this sort of lunacy that causes people to automatically escalate all problems to emergency status and cost these firms so much money, oh for the days of common sense.
Finally I would like to share with you one of those oddities one sees on public transport. A young ‘man’ of probably 19 years was stood in the vestibule on the phone this morning, I would guess he was born in rural Essex to middle class parents. His call was conducted in a bizarre combination of gangster, African and gypsy which seems to be the rhyming slang of his generation. In amongst the expletives and gangster bravado I just caught the subject matter and smiled as I realised that our would be gangster had been fishing without a licence at the weekend. No guns and drugs for this dangerous criminal just an eliciting caught pike that was returned unharmed!