Thursday, 17 January 2008

Feeling Blue

I woke up yesterday, poked my head above the covers and decided there was a distinct chill in the air. I rolled out of bed and touched the radiator. A block of ice would have emanated more heat.
There followed brow furrowing as I wandered to the bathroom, where the radiator was also cold. I threw on a pair of jeans and jumper, knowing I'd have to brave the weather outside. I checked the boiler on the way out and there was a big red light shining on its front. Never a good sign.
I opened the door and scurried down my drive in the fine drizzle to check the level of oil in my tank. I love living in the countryside, I make a fine bumpkin, with or without straw on which to chew, but it does mean there's no gas and you have to rely on oil for your heating. I went and trod down the nettles surrounding the tank, grasped a twig to move it out of the way of the gauge and quickly realised this was no ordinary twig. No, this was a bramble and the grasping of such a thing was not entirely smart.
I poked my head towards the gauge, poked it, flicked it a little my fingers and the level appeared to remain the same. My last tank had this little fluorescent ball so you could clearly see the level, not so with this one. So, after poking, flicking and prodding I determined I had not, for once, run out of oil.
This could only mean my boiler had gremlins. And there's one thing that you can count on with gremlins. They cost you money.
I made the call, a man would be dispatched in my direction 'this afternoon'. I added extra layers, I did all the housework I could. Damn my recent houseproud-ness that left me little to do.
Finally the lovely engineer arrived, just before 5pm. I crossed my fingers as he poked and prodded my boiler. We then took a walk down to my oil tank.
Did you press the button? he queried.
There's a button? I replied with a vaguely flummoxed look on my face.
I pointed at the oil level I'd determined.
He pressed the button and the oil vanished.
So, there's a little air lock that makes it look like you have oil when you really haven't. Seriously, so even if I had remembered to check the level (despite reminders so numerous that I really should have done - you know who you are you oil fiend you!), I wouldn't have known I was nearly out, although the very distinct hollow sound when you tap the outside of the tank ought to have given the game away.

This little revelation made me strangely happy. If I'd run out of oil, the engineer visit would be costing me the grand sum of zero pounds and zero pence. Hurrah. See, my oil suppliers have this grand scheme where they guess how quickly you'll run out and theoretically time it so you never run out, but if they get it wrong they can't charge you. Double hurrah.

Less hurrahs over the fact that they wouldn't be able to bring oil until Friday. I'm a cold creature. Even when the room temperature is nearly 30 degrees I'm to be found with my blanket. The engineer took pity and complained. Oil was thus promised for first thing this very morning.

So, I went out for dinner last night with Harriet, not particularly relishing the return home to the cold house afterwards. Dinner was excellent by the way, I have a thing for salad and mine came with artichoke hearts, roasted peppers, olives and goats cheese. Mmm Mmm and once again Mmm. I really love the menu at Prezzo, helped by the fact they have a huge vegetarian choice with which to tempt me!

Finally late last night I prepared for bed. I ferreted in the chest of draws and found my flannelet pyjamas. They're blue with snowmen and Christmas trees on and just as sexy as they sound. Ahem. Underneath I wore a Guinness T-shirt won at a pub quiz. On my feet the fluffiest pair of pink socks ever seen. It was like two little pink chinchillas had made my feet their home. Then I put on my rather gorgeous (and girly) pink sequined slippers. I spent a little time contemplating gloves too.

I was so warm it was lovely. Less lovely was leaving that wonderfully warm bed to my hideously cold room this morning.
Oil has been delivered and I await the return of the lovely Kevin to bleed my boiler and return heat to my wanting and waiting radiators.

It's a good thing I have a sizable ass, because I'm freezing it off right now as I turn slowly blue.


Domster1974 said...

Sounds chilly, i don't think i would even get out of bed, its cold when I have heating on in the morning, so no heating would scare me too much

Flibbertigibbet said...

My place is usually really toasty, it's such a wee little cottage with these 2 foot thick walls that the heat can't escape. But it also means no heat can get in!

I love radiators.
I'm sharing the love at the moment, radiators, books, buttons, music. It's free love!