The second time, I had the engineer’s number and rang him direct, which he did not like but he came and cleaned the fan. He also took out the timer because it was catching, making a 24/7 racket but the landlord said nah, it works fine. I made the engineer take it out, which meant it needed to be manually switched.
Not to worry. he cleaned the fan.
The third time, the engineer was getting sick of me. I was asking questions like, “How much is a new fan?” and, “How much is a new timer?”
He cleaned the fan.
The neighbours told me a rumour that the old boilers were all being replaced. Great. When? By winter. Meaning by New Year.
On Saturday just passed, the combi-boiler broke down again for precisely the same reason. I rang the engineer and he said he needed the landlord’s permission. I rang the landlord and he was redirecting all calls to the answer machine.
I’m in a flat which is known for its coldness – it has copious amounts of glass which is a wonderful thing during the day but not so good with frost settling outside at night. Last night, I blogged to you with woollies, jacket, thick socks and shoes on, plus cap, plus the oven in the kitchen turned on at intervals.
This morning I phoned the engineer. Eureka – his phone was engaged, which meant he was at least online. When I’d redialled the umpteenth time, my call was redirected through to answer machine.
I rang my landlord and said I was going to a swimming pool for a shower. He conceded the point. When I got back, he said that he’d got the engineer [miraculous] who’d told him the boiler was knackered.
Five days to get the new one and he’ll come in on Saturday to install it. Yeah, sure – I’ll believe that when I see it. However, it is better than nothing. I can shower at the training place and go to the pool. Clothes washing can be done in cold water. The cold is still running so there’ll be cups of tea.
This is not unlike Russia all over again where you usually had three variants – the lift working, the hot water on and the cold water on but not all at the one time. I think I counted a total of maybe fifteen weeks in 12 years when all were working. Sometimes only one of those was working.
I seriously don’t recall once where none were working – there may have been a few days once.
So I’m in good training for this peculiarly British situation and could cope with it, if it were not for last Friday’s meeting which I neglected to report to you on and it was dire. My personal circumstances are about to change for the worse but let that not concern you.
The Combi-Boiler – an essay by Jimmy Higham
The C-B is a monstrosity which illustrates everything which is wrong with an ideological government working in partnership with science and the corporate world.
Climate change is upon us or it is not.
Either way, the government has leapt onto environmental concerns and thrown in some elfansafetee as well. So, separate home heating and hot water supply is a thing of the past and now we have the cutting edge of technology – the Combi-Boiler. This has things which go buzz and whir and is what the white heat of this industrial revolution loves to see – an idea, however well tested, rushed into practice.
They don’t work. They break down. There are design mechanisms which must break down in a short time and this is borne out in practice up and down the country, whereas the old, simple boiler did you ten years and then packed it in.
Using Ronnie Barker Britporridge parlance, which the North Americans might not get – it’s a naff concept, the Combi-Boiler. If they try to get you to buy one over there, don’t do it.
It is mid to late October and we are on the cusp of the cold season. I thank the Lord that it is all happening now and not a month later. I can buy a little blow-heater at ASDA, hopefully [unless elfansafetee have regulated it away] and so the bases are covered.
At this moment, it is a delightful day and this flat’s true quality comes through – the light is streaming in and warming the cockles of the heart. I wish you all the most superb and productive Monday.
“Nuff for now.