Wednesday, 19 March 2014

I'd have sold my soul to the boiler devil

For anything tepid out of my taps!

Wednesday night, after the positively tropical Monday and Tuesday we'd had, was shrouded in mist.
Freezing foggy type mist. The HG was cold. I went to crank up the old girl in the kitchen. Nothing. Dead as a dodo.
Fortunately we have the insurance. So first thing Thursday morning, I rang up.

I carefully gave my work number five or six times to the nice lady on the phone and said that they'd have to ring me there betwixt the hours of  eight and one on the Friday morning. She updated her system .... or so she said.

She'd actually blatantly lied to me. I left for work as late as I dared and once there I was up n down to the office like the proverbial night attire of a newly married woman. No calls. Nothing.

I sprinted home like Hussain Bolt* at lunchtime and there behind the door was a

I WAS BOILING ( unlike the water coming out of my taps ) mad . I was, frankly, furious. The card informed me the engineer had been at 9:18am. The phone is definitely manned by two people at work  an hour before that time. No way had I missed the call.
I hadn't missed the call at work........

I went to the house phone to check for a call. There was a strange mobile number at 8:56am.

Like Sherlock, my angry mind began piecing together the missing blanks. Actually the blanks are for all the swear words I was saying. I was cross that I'd left for work at 8:55am. Had I waited sixty short seconds longer, there would be no problem.  I rang the strange mobile and left a half snarky/half polite message explaining had he rung work he'd be a 'Sorry I missed you' card up in his collection.

I then turned my vexation onto the Organisation. I pressed the numbers REALLY HARD into the phone ( I'm curious - does anyone else do that anger typing where you use the pointy finger on your best hand in a very jabby aggressive manner?
The higher the level of miffed ness, the harder the  force required to punch  Each. Number. Punctuated. With. A. Swear. Word. ( Indeed, had I been dialling a number on our old home phone I would have been calm because it would have taken five minutes alone to start with 0800 ! ) old fashioned counting to ten!

Now after I had been through fifteen different options with the automated lady I then settled in with a brew to wait for the company to finish chatting with it's other customers. I felt reassured my call was important to them too; they hypnotised me with it as I heard it twenty plus times.

Finally, a 'nice' lady answered. I explained all of the above. She listened. I was actually polite as I knew it wasn't her fault. I discovered she wasn't that 'nice' as she, rather snottily I thought, informed me that the calls twenty minutes before are just courtesy and not compulsory. Red rag to a bull time folks. I was SEEEEEEETHING. I. Told. Her.

The calls ARE always made or so I was led to believe. I had given my number on which I was to be contacted. I'd been told this was fine.
There was a long silence.
She offered me an appointment that afternoon as a priority.

Of course I was going to take it. She went through the same questions.
Was I elderly? ( a matter of opinion!)
 Did I have alternative heating etc? Yes, coal and a kettle.
Did I have children under six months old? Yes, once, and now I want to cry because they are all grown up, you heartless phonewitch - my day is bad enough  as it is without you rubbing that fact in. Was there any problems with parking? No, because clearly, the engineer had parked there this morning as he filled my SORRY I MISSED YOU CARD in.
She then checked with me my home phone number. The 'hilarity' of this will become clear in about two paragraph's time.

All I could do was sit and wait. I was irked as I'd planned to go see my friend's brand new baby. And now I was trapped against my will in a freezing cold house with no instant hot water. What a drama Llama!!!

But my wonderful HG saved the day. He finished early for the day so I was free. Also, it was probably safer for the Boiler Repair Man ( when he turned up ) .

I went to see my friend. It was wonderful. Her baby is adorable and the birth story was enthralling! With my arms still warm and smelling of fresh baby I went to Night Owls.
The HG texted to say boiler man there. Then one later to say 'boiler not working'. I was trapped in the nest till 5:29pm.

I dreaded going home. Mainly because it was FREEZING and also the cost of replacing the boiler
would be crippling. However, things weren't as bleak as I feared. The nice boiler man had diagnosed
lots of things he could try to get it working and would be back in the morning with the parts! He was a particularly nice boiler man who laughed off my irate phonemessage! He showed the HG his computer screen of contact phone numbers to call. They had six for us. The usual categories. Home, Mobile, Work, Other, Other and Other.

Every single one was our home phone number!! Unbelievable! The first operator must have just been laughing her head off as she was NOT adding my work number to the list!! But I was no longer furious. I was ecstatic for the morning!

Saturday morning. The boiler man was at the helm for a good couple of hours. He fixed several faults . He'd already explained that many parts were now obsolete as our boiler had stopped being made in 2001!! We've had it for about  sixteen/seventeen years. He worked his magic! The boiler worked!! He warned us that this was probably the last time! ( To be fair, so did the last three engineers who've been out to fix it in the past.) I admit we are living on borrowed time.  So a surveyor will call to measure us up for a new one and I will save this information ( and also start saving a lot of pennies )for the day my boiler warms it's last radiator!

I love a happy ending!

Work in progress - tiny cardigan now finished! I hope my friend likes it.

To those lovely people asking about the lovely Frugalmummy, if you add a comment with an email address, I won't publish it, but I will be in touch :-)

So I must be off to get ready for work! I do this in blissful luxury of warmth from Central heating! All you frugal bloggers out there will be aghast at my blatant spending!!!

Love from Rachel *warm as toast* Radiostar xx

**if Hussain Bolt was a five foot nowt, forty two year old fat woman with grey roots and eyebrows like hedgerows who at best could manage a jog for three minutes with the right supportive underwear strapped on.


  1. No, I'm not'm not.
    Yes, the jabby finger do the faces I pull and 'gestures' I do while on the phone.
    Jane x

  2. Loved your boiler story; hope the old gal is still working well now. Our boiler is even older than yours as it had already been in the house for 2 years when we moved here in 1999. I have it serviced yearly by a local company at a cost of around £60 but we don't hold insurance. We have savings but if it failed we'd manage without until it was deemed absolutely necessary to repair it. We have electric fires for heating and a trusty kettle for hot water and no children to worry about so we could manage without at a pinch. Mind you, I'd be happy to have a new,smaller one if it does go.

  3. Forgot to say, I love the little cardigan, so pretty.


  4. Love the boiler story. We don't have a boiler or radiators but we do have heaters in the form of gas wall heaters (came with the house) and a stove. Can you imagine when this house was built all it had was a coal fire. Your little cardigan is lovely.

  5. The above comment was from my lovely reader called Carol x thanks Carol x


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