Our heating conked out this morning.
My mom always used to say that you can always judge the character of a person by the way they dealt with things going wrong in their life.
My character is pants.
I do not like the cold.
Which is weird because I live in Melbourne. And I miss the UK. Both of which have four seasons, are close to a (north or south) pole and get damn cold.
Admittedly when we arrived in Melbourne, we had no idea that just an hour and a half away was a snow field. Yep, we get snow.
And so when making my bed this morning the lamp went out, and Mr C, after I phoned him to inform him hysterically that no hot water was spewing forth from the shower head and he asked me to check the boiler and water was pouring out of it, all over the plugs below which is why the bedside lamp went out, I kind of lost it.
Told you. My character is pants.
The plumber came out. He checked the boiler and then he checked the piping in the roof. He didn’t believe me that there were heating pipes in the roof.
“There’s no heating pipes in the roof,” he said.
I had to explain that the builder had decided to put hydronic heating after the house was built which meant the piping could only go in the roof as the house was built on a solid cement slab. He rolled his eyes, climbed up the ladder and, moments later, came back down.
“It is a goddam mess up there!” he yelled. I don’t know why he was yelling, but he was and it made me anxious. I was freezing and now I was anxious.
“It’s going to cost a fortune to fix!”
Of course it is.
“All the pipes are leaking! All of them! It’s a complete mess up there! It’s a catastrophe!”
His character is pants too.
People who are naturally predisposed to anxiety really rely on those around them to maintain a level head.
This was not working for me.
I calmly walked over to the phone, phoned Mr C and handed Mr Hysteria the phone.
Twenty minutes later he emerged.
“We are going to fix it, but we won’t be able to get it done until the end of August. The part we need has run out in the whole of Australia, and we will need to order it from overseas. It won’t arrive until mid-late August.”
I didn’t believe him. He was Mr Hysterical and clearly his imagination and hysteria had got the better of him.
I phoned Mr C.
“I’m sorry, Sarah, but no heating until August.”
Thud. That was my heart sinking.
This year is touted to be the coldest winter that Melbourne has experienced in 20 years.
Did I mention that I really really really don’t like the cold?
Even though I live in Melbourne.
We have hydronic (radiator) heating for that very reason. It was the sole reason we bought the house. See hydronics, keep warm, buy house. Yep.
And so I write this to you under two blankets, with a pilfered oil heater we managed to get from my in-laws and with me in a beanie and a fleece and tracksuit bottoms. I am listening to my dear darling husband tell his parents how “we are fine!” I may have to throttle him.
Master J asked me how I would cope if I was homeless. I said I wouldn’t. That’s it. I just wouldn’t. He left the room laughing, probably plotting to make me homeless one day no doubt just to see how poorly I would cope.
I often think of the heroins in the books I read. Of how in control they are, of how they rise to the dangerous occasion, keeping their full wits about them, to tackle any task thrown their way, to emerge triumphant and in control. I am not that person.
Instead, I am the person who is freezing under a blanket.
Still, it could be worse, we could have no electricity….
Until next time,