Monday, March 10, 2014

Ooh, Culture!

When sorrows come, they come not single spies but in battalions. - Hamlet

(Okay, that's the culture bit. The rest is just me moaning.)

It has been a tough weekend. Remember how last weekend I did a post about how 3 - 2 = 5? Well, it turns out that 5 - 2 = 4...

We got our hot water fixed last week. This wasn't too bad - there was a part replaced, there was a note that the boiler is now End of Life (which will limit the availability of parts in future), but it could have been much worse. And on Saturday I spent some more time on the bathroom ceiling, stripping again and repainting, and it's now much better. So, that's good.

But on Saturday morning there was The Smell. A rather disturbing stench coming from somewhere in the appartment, the smell of something unpleasant burning. To be fair, I'd noticed this before, but had convinced myself it was LC's hairdryer or straighteners, or somesuch. But on Saturday that excuse didn't exist - The Smell was there and neither of these things had been used.

Well, after some investigations we identified that it's coming from our main "fuse box" (I'm not sure what the correct term is, since instead of fuses it actually houses several circuit breakers), the smell was definitely of burning plastic, and the box became warm to the touch when certain appliances were on.

Now, for obvious reasons there was very little to be done thereafter. I was able to identify that the problems seem associated with one particular breaker (because it was worst when the shower and/or the tumble drier were on, and they share a breaker), but of course I didn't open the box to see what was wrong. My gut feeling is that that breaker has worn out, a short circuit has probably developed, and that that's the problem, but of course I might be wrong.

So, I contacted the guy who does the regular safety inspections on the box. Or, rather, I tried to - it turns out he doesn't work weekends (and fair enough). The last few days have been a bit stressful. Obviously, that's something I want fixed Right Now, but time doesn't always work like that.

In addition to this, LC hit problems with our computers this weekend... but I won't go into that. Except to note that it's seldom that one thing that causes the problem - it's that one thing on top of all the other things. Oh well.

The upshot of all of this is that this week, which was already going to be awfully busy and horrendously expensive, is now going to be even more busy and expensive. I just hope that, if we can endure, this will be the end of the problems.

Anyway... after finally getting through the weekend, we retired to bed. Only to find that neither of us slept at all well - I think we each managed about four hours in fits and starts through the night. Not good. (A combination of worry, not feeling terribly well, and there being a clear barrier between discrete zones of "too hot" and "too cold".)

I dropped my car off to be looked at this morning. That, at least, went okay. And then, on my way to work, I hit a huge traffic jam and lost another hour or so. Gah!

But then I phoned up and paid for the repair to our boiler and then phoned someone else and arranged to have the "fuse box" looked at. It would be nice to think that the worst is now behind us.


#11: "Pathfinder: City of Locusts", by Richard Pett

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