The weather is…….changeable
The weather in the UK right now is, as they say all too often, changeable. It is the time of year when we Brits face the perennial challenge of what to wear? Should we wear a light jacket, a heavy jacket, or no jacket at all? Should we carry an umbrella or leave it at home?
Wednesday saw the hottest day of the year, with 25 degrees being registered in central London. And, I should know. Because I was there.
I should know because I travelled home on Wednesday evening on a Virgin Pendolino. Temperatures on board were rising because, as it is all too often, the seat reservation system wasn’t working when we boarded. Little pockets of “seat rage” were popping up throughout the train, but particularly in First Class where people lacking arms and legs simply wanted to collapse into the seat for which their limbs and appendages had been sacrificed.
About ten minutes into the journey, and, therefore, about ten minutes too late, a reboot of the train’s system fixed the seat reservation…..and rendered the air conditioning useless. On the hottest day of the year.
Temperatures in the cabin rose to a sweltering 30 degrees and, unlike the days of old when opening a window and sticking your head out might have offered a certain relief (especially if another train was coming the other way) modern Virgin Pendolinos are hermetically sealed units through which breezes and, frustratingly, mobile phone signals, will not pass.
Everyone began to sweat and melt into chairs that had been reserved by other people. I texted C to apologise in advance for my unkempt and whiffy state, masked only by the occasional spray from my pocket-sized Channel Blue.
C responded, most sympathetically, and I returned home to a most welcome, cooling and stress-relieving candlelit bath and a change of clothes. The bath and C’s sympathy were also most welcome as I saw neither for the next couple of days.
We awoke on Thursday morning to find the boiler locked out. No heating. No hot water. The boiler had locked out because we had run out of oil. We would not have run out of oil but for the unseasonably chilly weather which had preceded Wednesday’s aberration and a broken oil tank gauge. Or so I argued. But, ordering the oil is my job. And so a chill descended as C gazed upon me with a mix of disappointment and murder in her eye.
I thought I might have been given a reprieve as I immediately called the oil supplier and secured a delivery for Friday and because Wednesday had been the hottest day of the year. But, as I said, the weather can be changeable this time of year. Thursday’s chill was not just to be found in C’s metaphorical frown. It was meteorological too.
Fleeces were donned, electric heaters were recovered, the fire was lit, and I spent much of the day sitting around the heat of a hot cup of coffee while being admonished for my inefficiency in the oil ordering department.
It was even colder yesterday. And, of course, yesterday was the day when the power company chose to undertake essential line maintenance, requiring our power to be shut off between the hours of nine in the morning and four in the afternoon. No hot water. No heating. No electric heaters and no hot cups of coffee to huddle around.
The oil was delivered but, when the power came back on the boiler remained locked out. Thankfully a plumber was found within the hour and he was able to shift the air and get the oil flowing. But only after we had been required to dismantle half of the kitchen unit above the boiler and breaking one tile. And, payment of a hefty call-out charge.
The hot shower yesterday evening was a welcome relief.
Today is sunny, although it is far from hot. It is about 14 degrees. And yet many of the citizens of Sandbach this morning had been lulled into a false sense of temperature and, like moths drawn to a flame, left their homes with an inappropriate jacket. Indeed, a high proportion were shivering, wearing nothing but t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops. Fake tans, muffin tops and tattoos aplenty were on display.
At least today, I was able to return home to a hot cup of tea, heating and hot water.
I must not forget to order the oil. I must not forget to order the oil. I must not forget to order the oil. I must not forget to order the oil.
Entry filed under: middleman.