Friday, 24 December 2010

Snow and water

A row of snowy trees
OK, we are a little bit 'had enough of this' at Lola Towers now. It has been a most exciting winter season, but we are ready for the spring now, and would rather like some daffodils to break out along with sunshine and temperatures, oh, I don't know, somewhere above freezing would be good? Definitely above the minus 18 degrees Celsius that it was the other night when I couldn't sleep and got up to service your blog requirements, which is what I do when I can't sleep. My computer has one of those Microsoft widgets that tells you the temperature, and Microsoft are clearly on the ball because Royal Leamington Spa is one of the locations that you can have. It is telling me minus 1 degree at the moment, and it is snowing again, quite hard.

Don't get me wrong, I love the snow. Snow is fun to play in, fun to walk in, tobogganing on Mr A's toboggan is some of the best fun in the world, in fact it is one of the reasons I agreed to go out with him all those years ago. You can see I set quite a high bar with relationships: "You say you don't have a great home-made toboggan? Oh, I'm sorry, I don't think I can see you any more. We're just not compatible."

Snow is particularly good for snowboarding, which is what Mr A and I were forced to do on Tuesday afternoon. I say 'forced' because it would have been quite a good thing if we could have not had our second snowboarding lesson at that point, but it was booked and paid for (and quite expensive) and they are quite firm about non-refundable non-transferable bookings. It would have been nice not to go snowboarding because when we phoned a plumber after that indoor waterfall happened on Monday evening, he said he could come on Tuesday afternoon.

You may be surprised to hear that in a way, it was a good thing after all that we went snowboarding and the plumber didn't come until Wednesday. This was because, after surviving quite nicely with the mains cold water turned off - we still had a full hot water tank to use for essentials - we experienced a second indoor waterfall on Tuesday in much the same location in the kitchen as the Monday event, but this time hooray! it was hot water coming in. That stopped when the hot water tank was empty, but from that point until the plumber finished, we had no running water at all. And we turned the heating off, just because we weren't entirely certain that the heating system is 100% separate from the tap water and didn't want to tempt fate.

Plumber with his head through a hole in the ceilingHaving no water or heating is inconvenient, but actually not too bad in reality. We had an open fire in the living room, many quilts and duvets, thermal underwear, gas to cook with and electricity for the kettle and essential appliances (i.e. the computers, electric blanket). If the electricity were to fail, well, then we'd just have to move out, even if the house were toasty warm. No Internet? I don't think I could cope.

Anyway, the plumbers came, saw and conquered, and we are left with a large hole in the kitchen ceiling and a mystery as to why there were completely unlagged hot and cold water pipes in that location in the first place. I say 'were' because they have now been cut and blocked off, and if we discover anything that no longer works, we will know what they were for. Our best guess is that there was once a sink on a wall that no longer has one. But unlagged copper pipes? and running along an exposed wall? That's just asking for trouble.

What with the cleaning up afterwards, another day passed without a trace of coursework being done. So I spent all of Wednesday on justifying my chosen community nutrition intervention, which will be for people with dementia being cared for in their own homes in Warwickshire. I'm guessing that I've done about half the necessary work for this bit of coursework, and then I have to finish my research project and do some revision. But this will be the last Christmas/New Year holiday ruined by having to study!

So here we are, all ready to go, Mr A poised over the stove and ready to collect the oysters from the fishmonger. I am, as usual, at my desk ready to do some Christmas Eve coursework, presents littered under the large format camera tree substitute. I hope you all have as good a time as we're going to have.

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