It was £259 for the boiler. The boiler repair man turned up, nosed around a bit (mainly to make me feel better about the £259 I think) and then pressed a magic button on the underside of the unit. Everything immediately sprang into operation. It’s a great sound, the “wummpphhh!!” of gas re-igniting and the promise of effective radiators and hot water. Tempered by the cost of the resuscitation of course. I was left wishing I’d put more effort into solving the problem myself.
What stopped me spending the rest of the day sitting on the kitchen floor with my head in my hands was the knowledge that we were going to Devon for a few days around the bank holiday. It’s an annual jamboree with my wife’s parents and brother and his family.
The trip down was cold and grey until Somerset. Then suddenly there was warmth and teatime sunshine. As the clouds rolled away in clotted cream heaps, a plane dived high above the hills ahead of us like a shooting star. Finally we reached Devon and the winding gravelled road to the farm and neighbouring cottages.
Near our cottage is the computer room, where I sit at one of those all-in-one-seat-and-picnic-table constructions. Next to a playground containing no fewer than 4 trampolines (it’s a new playground trend). Outside the trees are rattling urgently in the wind, sounding like waves breaking onto a sandy coastline, or a band of zealous tambourine players. Sunlight filters through the leaves, creating a kaleidoscope. We knew it would be sunny, as my mother in law had confidently announced that morning. “If there is enough blue to make a sailor’s trousers, it will be a sunny day”. The row of trees means I can’t see the girls bouncing high and elegantly on the trampolines behind them. They are screaming so loudly I am almost tempted to go round there and see if they are alright.
My daughter is so happy with her beloved cousins and it is reciprocated. “I love you” she calls happily towards the younger one as she moves nearly out of earshot. ”I love yoouuu…” the answer comes floating back on a warm gust.
Tuesday, 8 May 2007
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Devon you say? Right, well if that's where the sun goes in the UK I'll book a trip for next weekend...
What a lovely break! Our home during the bank holiday was a little like Iraq! Roll on Tuesday we both agreed on Friday night...
£259? Bloody-hell. A service is less than that here in Devon!
Mind you, they make up for it with the price of cream teas.
I can more or less guarantee it will be sunny at Saunton sands, TGW...
It is very nice Dulwichmum. Are you sure you're drinking enough?!
"The tide never goes out so far but what it comes back"
"He's in queer street"
I could go on - I was raised on a diet of sayings. My mother's conversation is peppered with wisecracks and I'm sure it's getting worse as she ages.
I've never heard the one re blue sky and sailor's trousers, though. Must save that for when I sound even more like my mother...
Did he press the re-set button on the boiler? I called a plumber for a similar problem here in the land of frogs, and instead of charging me £259, he said he was very busy and had I tried pressing the re-set button? He said it's very common at this time of year...
Saunton Sands is wonderful. Did you have a cream tea? Putting my culinary (non-allergic) hat on, the key to a successful cream tea is making sure the layer of clotted cream is AT LEAST as thick as the thickest scone half. On stressful days you might want to make it twice as thick.
Just a tip, in case you were wondering...
Stay at home dad? I think you should rename this blog as gallivanting dad!
PS my word verification says pumpljqg
Kids always seem to get on with their cousins - its as if they instinctively know there is something special about them. My older nephews have been a great way to persuade our kids to do things like drink more milk. We tell the kids that's how they got to be so tall (see, lying with impunity again!)
Yes really - the last chap I collared from the street (he was installing a kitchen up the road) fixed our top floor radiators for £20 cash (they needed bleeding and more water put in the system) and quoted £80 for a service.
Which I have yet to organise, £80 being £80.
Just got back from Devon (and Saunton sands) late last night and believe me the sun was most definitely NOT shining. Howling gales and horizontal rain. And, sorry to say,the beaches aren't a patch on our Northumbrian ones, but we probably can't supply the correct cousins.
I will sit here and feel smug about my Britsh Gas Three Star Service Cover. My boiler fell apart and it was replaced as part of the cover!
Debio, I think there is a pleasure in predictability as you get older, while when you are young that's the last thing you want.
Pig, I think it probably was the re-set button but I haven't had the heart to look... Yes, re. cream teas, if you're going to do them do them large!
M&M - very droll...!
DM, I don't look at it as lying, more... er, oh well anyway it's for their own good.
BM, sorry I mis-read I thought you meant more expensive. That's really the way it should be isn't it. Bleeding radiators!
@TM, you're right, the weather has disintegrated into what can only be described as winter. Your beaches must be impressive then... why did you go all that way?!
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