Electric Avenue

The plan for the first week of January was to store away all the Christmas decorations, china, candles, ornaments, cards, wrapping paper, lights etc in one of the top cupboards and sorting the fabric that I would have to remove from that cupboard.

I did it, yes I did…all the Christmas trappings are now safely put away and the fabric is piled (ok heaped) in the spare room. By Thursday of last week I was feeling quite pleased with myself and planned to spend the weekend sorting and measuring  the fabric. Ha, they say pride goes before a fall…and what a fall. On Thursday we had had some problems with the washing machine and central heating boiler, by Friday the electricity was tripping out whenever anything was plugged in/switched on or in the case of the fridge and central heating boiler whenever the temperature changed and the power boosted. By Friday evening we could not use any sockets, had no heating and the ceiling lights were decidedly dim. So I called in an electrician, a pleasant young man who unfortunately was terrified of dogs. So terrified that he was down at the far end of the drive when I opened the front door having heard the barking when he knocked. He came in and had a look at the fuse box (with all three dogs safely shut in another room) but flinched at every sound, he couldn’t identify any specific faults then and when asked if he would come back the following day he said he’d really rather not!

So on Saturday I rang another electrician, my first question was not the price of a call out, or if he was available but did he like dogs and luckily the answer was yes. Ian arrived later in the morning when the two German Shepherds were out for a walk and must have wondered why I had checked that he was comfortable working near dogs when all he saw was the elderly Border terrier, snoozing on the sofa. He soon identified a few problems the main one being the fusebox/breaker unit which needed to be replaced but the wiring in the garage was also causing some concern. He did what he could on Saturday to no avail, the power would not stay on despite his best efforts. He called back on Sunday with a temporary fix to allow us to use the central heating (gently)and the fridge. I feel the cold very badly so heating is important and I need the fridge to keep my Aranesp injections cold. We could also use the Everhot cooker, although it runs on electricity it uses such a small amount and at a constant rate so it didn’t trip the fuse. That meant I could boil a kettle for hot water bottles (yes I feel the cold that badly) and make hot food. I also made a few pots of marmalade just to keep myself busy and warm!

On Monday the man from the washing machine company came to open the machine as it was full of half-washed mopheads when the fuse tripped and wouldn’t open either automatically or manually and I knew it was going to smell…and it did!

On Tuesday Ian returned, replaced the fusebox/breaker unit and sorted out the wiring in the garage and kitchen. He checked the other rooms and found that the dining room and my son’s room have faults in the wiring so the sockets in there cannot be used until they are rewired.  The main casualty of the power problem is that the freezer thawed out so we have lost all the food but otherwise there has been no lasting damage.The general upheaval of checking all the wiring meant that I had to take Tilly and Skye to daycare while Ian worked as the chances of them being electricuted were too high to risk. That just left Nino who could well have blundered into the odd live wire so he came to work with me. He left his usual peaceful life to spend the afternoon sitting in my classroom with the Reception and Year 1 children (ie 4 and 5 year olds) at school. I was a bit worried how he would cope but apart from the odd concerned look when they were being very excitable he did splendidly and even joined them in the playground for a little run about. The best part of his day was definitely the trip to the staffroom for a cup of tea and a bit of cake at the end of the day. The children loved him and were fascinated by his age (15 dog years which they worked out is roughly equal to 105 human years) and his teddybear looks.  He was exhausted and slept very well all night, in fact he had to be woken up to have his breakfast this morning. He did look quite hopeful as I got ready for school this morning but opted to stay in peace on the sofa. The children were very disappointed that he didn’t come back today so I think he’ll be welcome when Ian does the next bit of rewiring. Tilly and Skye have spent this evening asleep, having spent two days at daycare this week they are both tired.

The good news of the week is that Tilly has gained weight, we have been so worried about her as she had lost a huge amount of weight in the weeks before Christmas and was looking quite ill, especially once she shed her coat and her skinny frame was visible. (German Shepherd moult all year but sometimes shed their complete outer coats leaving just the soft undercoat.)  We have changed her to a gluten free diet and she has put on a kilogram in just under three weeks and already looks so much better – she has a long way to go to achieve the correct weight of 30kgs for her age and height but it is a step in the right direction. She is to be weighed each month at the vets to check her progress but the vet was very pleased with her progress so far.

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