20 April 2018


Isn’t it strange how everything packs up together. Not long after getting the water problem solved and the locks fixed the electric lights started to go. Mostly bulbs in indoor light fittings, which I could replace, but then the outside lights decided to follow suit. This, of course, was a very different matter – or so I thought. It was Mr K, the gas man, who saved the day. He had given me a list of phone numbers – a gardener, an electrician, and more. So I put it to the test and rang the electrician. 

Outside lights are impossible for me to get at… far too high. Not that I could do anything even if I could reach so I searched for the list of numbers and made a call. Electrician came within hours, replaced the remote sensor and changed the bulb in the lantern. 

The bill was nothing like I expected…. ridiculously cheap!

Next breakdown came just a few days after the electrician finished his work. This time it was the gas fire in the lounge. The fire is fine, but the frontage collapsed. Scared me when I heard the noise and I went into a blind panic when I thought the actual fire had gone. Well, it was/is several degrees below zero and to lose anything that heats the house is the worst calamity I can think of right now.

What to do? That was a question aired to the girls next door (girls meaning two ladies (sisters) who are a lot younger than me). One of the girls was at work but the other one stays home and does the housework. I guess she’s older and retired!! I don’t know her age but if she had finished work she could be at least twenty years younger than me. Still a youngster! Whoops, getting away from the point. Of course, she commiserated which was all I expected but surprise, surprise, she sent a text to say that when her sister came home they would come round to see if they could sort out my fire.

As promised the girls came to see if they could sort it. They could. The younger girl/lady got stuck in straight away, handling the job as if it was what she did for a living. First she dismantled the fire and then proceeded to return the parts to where they should be. Voile! All fixed. Gosh, it took me back to the days when I could do things like that. 

Next thing to break down was the TV, which led to a major upset. The 'box' was replaced which was vastly different to the one now defunct. Programmes were all over the place. Everything I wanted to watch was topsy-turvy, flashed when it shouldn’t, and died when it shouldn’t. Another job for experts; I really can’t see the girls scaling the aerial to put things right!

So that job was done and I started to learn how to switch on the TV…. Okay I hear the gasp of surprise, but it wasn’t easy. You see, I now have two remote controls, one that has to be operated via two buttons, a green and a white, and then I have to switch to the other remote to organise the programmes. With my brain being addled I got in a right mess and had to call the guy out again. 

Next, the gas boiler that heats the water decided it wasn’t going to play any more. Now I ask you, is it me or are the house spirits ganging up? The problem was the fan, which has since been replaced by two new-to-me gas experts. Mr K, my original expert, seems to have gone out of business. Age, you know! Anyway, I was without central heating for two weeks while the new guys waited for the fan to arrive; thankfully I had stocked up with mobile electric radiators as a just-in-case. Of course, it had to happen in the coldest weather conditions the UK has known for several years. 

It's gone quiet now.... how scary is that?


  1. This kind of thing is my worst nightmare. My husband can fix anything but one day I will m ost likely be responsible for it myself. Paying won't come easy after years of free fixing

  2. Oh my goodness Valerie! You've certainly had your hands full with things breaking down,one right after the other. I hope that everything has been taken care of now and that you can relax. I'm glad you had those electric heaters available during your long wait for the boiler fan to arrive. I've had my furnace fan break down in the dead of winter too but I was able to get it replaced the same day that it quit working even though it was on a Sunday.


  3. My mother used to use the expression, "When it rains, it pours", when things like this happened. As if everything happens at once.

    So happy to hear about the girls next door coming to your rescue and fixing the gas fire, how fabulous was that? They sound like two gems!

    I understand about having two remote controls and switching on the TV because I've experienced the same thing. I have two different remotes that control my TV, DVD player, and VHS player, so it gets confusing at times which does which. I don't often use my TV anymore because I primarily use my desktop computer to stream movies; watch the news; and listen to music. I can even use my computer to watch my DVD's.

    Glad to hear that everything has quieted down for you. Have a peaceful and relaxing weekend, my friend!

    X to and Charlie!

  4. Hello, Kylie. I have been on my own for two years now but when my Joe was alive, although he didn't actually do any heavy stuff, he knew how to organise others to do it. He was a great organiser. Thanks for visiting my blog, I look forward to meeting you again.

  5. Hello Sue, thanks for popping in. Yes, it has been a hectic time and I don't want a repeat. I had a vision that it might last all year, in which case I think a place in a mental hospital would have been a good idea..haha.

  6. Too quiet! In the movies that used to mean the Indians...or Native Americans, where about to attack. I assume there are no native Americans in your neighborhood, so it might be a good thing.

    TV's are so complicated today. I know mine, but am almost lost when on the road. You may be able to have someone set up a "Universal Remote" to simplify things a little bit.

  7. Ron, your mother was right and you are right about the girls being gems. We don't live in each others pockets but we are there for each other when needed.

    I don't think I will ever master the remote duo. I tend to shrivel back when I think of trying something different - on the remotes, I mean. I used to be secure in the knowledge that I could do things but that seems to have gone by the board.

    Like you I do most things on the ipad or computer, even the phone has uses other than making calls. I think I'll keep it that way. I hope you have a peaceful weekend, with good weather.

  8. Goodness, keeping my fingers cross that that is the last of it for you Valerie.

  9. I hope so, too, Denise. I was at breaking point several times and it took all my willpower to stay sane. Writing about it enabled me to calm down.

  10. So it has been kind of quiet around your house? I am glad everything worked out OK. When it rains, it pours, right? Hopefully, that is the end of it and you can move on to other fun things. Take care, Val.

  11. I often say electrical goods should come with a sticker on them saying: "Made to break". We have had to buy a new washing machine and a new tumble dryer since Christmas.

  12. Joeh, Native Americans could be here, we are such a mixed race it would be hard to tell. Re TV, a couple of guys (singly) tried to show me the shortcuts to switching on and searching the TV but it went in one ear and out the other. I don't seem able to digest instructions these days yet once upon a time.... oh well, that's history.

  13. Too quiet, Matt, I think I'm waiting for the next thing to break down.

  14. Laughing, Dave, stickers like you describe would prohibit sales... and that would never do, would it?

  15. While reading this post, Valerie, I was thinking about how things supposedly happen in 3s, but then you seem to have had nearly double that. Perhaps this means that things will remain "as is" for awhile...sure hope so. Living in an apt as we now do has certain advantages as we are no longer responsible for maintenance or repairs as when we were homeowners. At times, we do miss having a home but so far we have resisted the urge to jump back into that. Glad to hear you have such helpful neighbors and have reliable repair folks too.


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