The hole truth

I’m feeling SAD. The nights are drawing in and there’s a nip in the air when I tentatively eject my feet from bed each morning. Mind you, my seasonal adjustment disorder hasn’t been eased by the lack of central heating since our boiler packed up over a year ago. But now, after numerous false starts, finally a replacement seems to be on its way.

Not wishing to be poisoned a second time by carbon monoxide fumes, as happened the winter before last from a cracked flue, I opted for an outside heating installation this time, with the added advantage of freeing up some precious storage space indoors – doubtless to be filled with more unneeded clutter. But I digress.

The arrival of the new boiler, after much chin-wagging advice from local ‘experts’ in the pub, has not been without its trials and tribulations. I generally enjoy the outdoor life, but having prepared the footings for the heater’s concrete base, my life as a professional pen pusher is taking on a more rosy hue.

Mixed messages from our pet heating engineer regarding the required earthworks didn’t help. If there’s one thing I like less than digging a trench for an oil pipeline, it’s filling it in again the next day to move it four feet to the left…

Breaking a concrete slab that blocked the trench’s new route seemed like fun for a strapping teenager, so I roped my son in to help. Let me know if you have any use for a sledgehammer and a pickaxe – both of which had suffered broken handles just five minutes later.

The first law of holes states that: “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging”. It’s certainly true when you discover gravel near your ground floor bathroom wall – chances are it’s obscuring a clay toilet waste pipe. Anyone know of a good, cheap builder?

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