Last night, we were half way through our pineapple yoghurts when all the lights went out. Damn! Still, these cuts don’t last long, particularly when the weather’s calm…
After a couple of minutes blundering around for a torch that worked, George went outside to see how far the blackness stretched. It didn’t stretch at all – the streetlamps were on; next door’s kitchen was dazzling… why just us?
I felt a tiny surge of resentment towards the electricity company and all those currently enjoying its full power. (In fact, quite a big surge). Despicable of me, I know, but good heavens - it doesn’t seem long since we had all that baffling work done to change our system from something called ‘Triphase’ to ‘Monophase’.
Did we even have different Phases in England-our-Old-Country? And if the dreaded Triphase presented such an urgent need for change in this house, why had the previous owners ever dallied with it in the first place? For it had certainly caused us problems, usually when just about to amaze our friends with a gastronomic delight; or if George was away and I had to negotiate the outside steps and the Stygian gloom of the cellar… alone!
Anyway, since the 'passage en monophasée' - which entailed synchronising two electrical companies’ schedules, multitudinous agonised phone calls and hand delivering several Declarations to swear we’d all do our bit, (the electricians charged with this painful task, though, were all helpful and delightful) - all has gone well. Till last night.
George went down to the cellar and sure enough, the main fuse had tripped. He reset it; thirty seconds later it went again.
Had I been alone, I would have kept resetting it until it burst into flames, such is my ability and patience with DIY. Together, we sensibly eliminated fuses three by three, until left with the tangle of plugboards and cable under the kitchen sink.
Quite a lot of which turned out to be damp, and dripping into the mouldering under-reaches of the cupboard.
So we couldn’t blame it on an electrical company.
By experimental positioning of kitchen towel we deduced that the little black overflow pipe had let go at one end, so that enthusiastic gushing of waste sink water resulted in spattering of the cupboard. For weeks, months… who knows?
To avoid alarming sizzles, George has now redirected much of the cable, and indelibly re-glued the little black pipe. And we’re airing the foul depths of the under-sink.
Which is Really Exciting for the cats - they remain on constant guard because whatever’s exuding that sort of aroma must be tastier than Kitlykat …
The Fenland Reed
19 hours ago