Friday, 23 November 2012

A Tale of Two Utilities

Last week went something like this. There were the best of plans and the most annoying attempts by life in general to sabotage those plans. (There was no prison, no evil French aristocrat and no guillotine though, so I shouldn't complain.)
Craft fair imminent. Loads of work at work. Me and my colleagues ill. Children behaving badly. Smell of gas when we turned the fire on. Whole of downstairs socket circuit blown at six in the morning on Monday. Loud recurring explosive noises from somewhere in the vicinity of the large shelves. Growing fear that we would be fried in our beds if the gas met the spark. Increasing necessity to switch off the electricity when we were in bed or out.
Phone call to British Gas. Threat from British Gas that The National Grid people would break our door down to turn off the gas if nobody was there to let them in. Panicked rush home from work at lunchtime to prevent said door from being assaulted. Gas off. Bowl baths.
Friday afternoon kind head teacher let me go home. Gas people didn't turn up. They were supposed to come between 12 and 6. Stressed Andy arrives home. I set off on dark foggy drive to the Midlands. The gas and electric people did eventually turn up on Saturday after many calls and texts back and forth. The boiler was fixed and the electric problem fixed.
Craft fair over I get home to find piles of stuff everywhere and have to face up to the fact that I am a massive hoarder and need to sort it out now before we are climbing over things to be able to do anything. We started with the books and managed to fill 7 large shopping bags. The shelves will have to go as the way I had piled them up with stuff was what caused the problem. The concrete floor under the laminate had cracked due to the weight and had broken the electric wire causing the explosions and fuse blowing. There is now a hole in the floor and two junction boxes but for now that can stay. The main task I have now is de-cluttering. It is now the following Saturday and I have made good progress. The flat is in the biggest mess but there is method to my madness and it will all hopefully be liveable again by tomorrow. Then I will plan the next part of the get cleared up campaign.
It is a far far better boiler than it has been for a while and it will soon be a far far tidier flat than it has ever been.
The moral of this story is that hoarding is dangerous. I think. Sorry Dickens.


busybusybeejay said...

Oh dear!Thank goodness we live in a bungalow with solid floors.Mind you saying that most of our books are in the loft.better start getting rid of some before they do damage.

Pearly Queen said...

But those shelves are supported at the side by pieces of wood so I don't think it was their weight that did your floor in!

Leenie said...

Wait. You had so much stuff stacked that it broke your concrete floor? Which broke electrical wiring? Hmmm. Maybe you SHOULD consider relocating a few things to another place. How did the Craft Fair go? I hope it was a far, far better thing than waiting for the gas and electric people.

Kat Mortensen said...

It's good that you've found out now. It could be lots worse. Thank God you got the boiler resolved and didn't fry in your beds!

I am an ex-hoarder. Since early in my marriage when we moved to a small town and a one bedroom apartment with garbage bags full of purses and shoes and the like, we have utilized charity shops for getting rid of stuff and for accumulating new, with one rule: when stuff comes in, an equal amount goes back out. Try it; it really works!

So glad you're safe,


Rattling On said...

I am enjoying my de-cluttering. I think. But it really does get out of hand, thank goodness for ebay and charity shops. I've got rid of 3 car loads so far.

Linda Sue said...

You will LOVE our house when you come- Stuff and more stuff but all of it has "possibilities" you understand...Sorry I sent you giving a fat lady (me) a gift card to the pudding shop...I can not believe that the book case broke the floor- It had to have been shite concrete or faulty installment! WOW, what a bummer day- I know how it is to use one cup of water for EVERYTHING! I liked my life when it was off the grid- out in a little cabin - wood heat, no electricity- Something I could manage...Now our house is so complex- anything goes wrong and it is like living in a large cluttered coffin. Sorry for you- xxxoooo

snoopydog said...

Hmmm, had a great clear out myself over the summer. We deposited four, full to the roof, estate car fulls, at the re-cycling depot!!! Still plenty more could follow, but it will have to wait until the motivation returns. Ros

Elizabeth said...

How frustrating the gas company can be!!!
Yes, clutter BE GONE

My husband contends that 'nothing is more valuable than space'
a good thought

you can look most stuff up on the internet now anyway

Happy crafting

Anairam said...

Oh my goodness - what a horror story! I am glad you got it all fixed though. And now I am looking at The Officer's Mess (my study) with new eyes. I am definitely going to have to start decluttering ... soon

jabblog said...

Ooh, what a horrible, frightening time you've had. I agree, it can't have been your shelves that did the damage. Mind you, I sometimes think our loft floors will give way one day. I declutter and Barry stuffs it in one of the lofts 'in case' . . .

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! How stressful! We have the same problem with utility companies... Never come when they say. Good luck with your decluttering!