"You hear laughter breaking through, it makes you want to fart. You’re heading for a breakdown, better pull yourself apart. " - John Cooper Clarke


The house started cooling down slowly on Saturday although we were lucky to get some sunshine to warm up the living-room.   On Sunday morning the thermostat told me that the house had gone down to 15°C and I spent most of the day trying to find ways of crawling into Hermie’s cage and basking under his heat lamp with him.  I left his lamp on overnight and yesterday, the room temperature had dropped to 14°C.  It was positively freezing and Hermie didn’t emerge from his welly all day, but that may be due to the fact that I’d left his lamp on overnight for two nights in a row and so the poor mite wasn’t sure what was happening.

Tortoises need routine, you see.

One of the chauffagistes called me back yesterday to say that he could make it today and my pleas of desperation begging the man to come as early as possible paid off as another client had cancelled and he could come around then.  Yes, that very minute.

When he came around I explained that it was an old heater and that I wasn’t sure how much he could help me, but he seemed happy enough to look at my ‘antique’ (his word, not mine), fixed it, stayed to make sure that it worked properly and only charged €20 – the happiest €20 that I have ever parted with.

Slowly, the house started heating up and all I have to test now is the hot water.  I have asked for a quote for a new boiler and heating system – having the two separately seems to be the obvious solution for a house this size – it’s just the cost of buying them.

So I have heating, glorious, wonderful heating – and hot water.

You don’t realise how much you need these luxuries until they’ve gone.