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A bit parky

December 30, 2013

Draughty old house … rickety old heating system …

no hot water

blokes came and installed the new cylinder tank … lots of heat … gallons of hot water … too much infact.

Christmas Eve came, the house was like a sauna, water boiled out of the taps, downstairs a flood. Bloke came, the boiler had melted as the new cylinder and pipework made the rickety old heating system too efficient for the creaking old boiler. He did something which made the immersion heater work so we had hot(ish) water at least and left saying it would be a major job involving wall removal, brickwork, new pipes and a new boiler … they couldn’t start until 31st December. The whole back pantry / washing machine area room had to be cleared, years of collected bric a brac carried out into the shed, washed and put elsewhere, Mother’s not great at throwing things away. Two friends helped for a morning (THANK YOU) but other than that 2 days of being coated (cold) in thick dust and trying to discourage Hope from helping too.

No central heating from 24th December to 4th January … brrrrrr

note on Facebook asking to borrow radiators. Frantic driving around the place filling a small car with oil powered heaters and back plugging them in to warm my mother and make sure Hope didn’t catch a chill. Extra jumpers, extra tights and socks but still chilly.

“It’s a good thing it’s mild”, people kept saying, not in the house, it’s freezing over Christmas! Poor  mother is wearing a hundred layers, and Hope is warming up rushing about the place and had a thicker pair of pyjamas and is for the first time wearing slippers. She gets a little chilly after a bath or when I change her nappy and says, very sweetly, “Hopey chilly Mummi, bit chilly”. For me it’s only when I sit and type I feel it, the rest of the time has been flat out.

Tomorrow it all starts, the wall bashing, the dust, the new pipes, the really cold time … I think perhaps a few more radiators to keep mother warm and the box of chocolates that hidden in the back of my car to cheer her up, and a hot water bottle.

The flip side has been the extraordinary kindness of so so many friends, and playgroup mothers who are new friends, in the loan of heating equipment, and the kind offers of accommodation and warm evening meals … the spirit of Christmas this year has been warmer, for me, than ever before knowing so many people have taken time out to ensure that Mother and Hope are warm …

now then, time for a hot bath before the final scrub of the back room before the chaos starts … and perhaps a warming hot toddy.


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