Apologies to avid readers of the blog for leaving you on tenterhooks with my last few posts. Nothing like a bit of a cliff-hanger to keep everyone on their toes.
As is to be expected at this time of the year, Real Life has been taking up rather more of my time and energy over the past week than is reasonable.
The good news is that our central heating and hot water have been restored to full working order by a very nice man from British Gas, who breezily arrived in a short-sleeved T-shirt and seemed amused by our chattering teeth, blue-tinged fingertips and ears, and suggested that we go outside as it was warmer outdoors than in.
That aside, he did a sterling job of coaxing our recalcitrant boiler back to life, and duly checked out the innards of various other bits of electrical gubbins closely related to the heating system, all of which were declared (more or less) fit for purpose.
The bad news is that our boiler is apparently obsolete (after only 10 years!!!?) and spare parts are becoming increasingly difficult to come by. Not only that, it is obviously hopelessly inefficient to the extent that setting fire to a pile of £10 notes would provide more heat, more cheaply, than running the boiler. I'm paraphrasing here but you get the gist.
In other news, our business computer is also on a life support system, and is currently on the waiting list for a motherboard transplant. Yes we did replace the power supply unit which had been couriered to us in a box not dissimilar to those which carry human organs for surgery.
The power supply replacement was almost as tense as a real operation, as we laid the patient on its back, and one by one disconnected bundles of wires from its brain and vital organs, then repeated the process in reverse.
We said a small prayer (to Geoff the god of poorly computers) and pressed the switch which in a parallel universe somewhere, restored the machine to life and everyone lived happily ever after.
Unfortunately in THIS universe, the patient was declared DOA and a further phone call to tech support confirmed that despite our best efforts, there was nothing else for it but to recall the PC for a full body makeover.
Our timing, as ever, is pants.
Obviously there is nothing to be done until the holiday festivities have subsided, at which time the entire base unit will be couriered to the PC equivalent of intensive care.
Aside from all of that, we have been in the vortex of the usual pre-Christmas mayhem, of which a free-floating sense of panic and anxiety is the primary symptom. We have various family members arriving over the next few days and only one of the three spare rooms are either accessible or presentable.
I won't even start on the price of turkeys this year. Have you seen how much they cost?!!! I don't believe it. £30-45 for a turkey!
Which is exactly what we may be forced to commit unless we can find more reasonably priced birds. I've been eyeing up pigeons in the garden but have been persuaded against taking drastic action. Small dog has helpfully suggested roast squirrel. However her squirrel-chasing forays, although undeniably enthusiastic, have, to date, yielded not one actual catch. In any case, I doubt my ability to make a squirrel look like a plump turkey, although the tail would make an attractive table centrepiece if sprinkled with a string of festive fairy lights.
And before anyone complains about cruelty to wildlife etc, in my defence, I have gone a bit mad.
Which is par for the course at this time of year as legions of women around the country can attest.
Ok, enough of this displacement activity. I'm off to finish writing my Christmas cards (AND YES I DO KNOW THEY WON'T GET THERE IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS!)