Whatever Next?

It’s nice to have an electric gate. It keeps the cows out for one thing.

But there’s also the physical line that gets crossed each time we come home. After a really bad day I linger to watch the mechanism whirr to a close. It’s worth its weight in Prozac. The feeling has always been the same: that we’ve shut out the world and left it all behind. And that’s even before a descent of the 84 steps, through a woodland valley filled with birdsong, before we get to the house.

The trouble is, lately, that ‘AAhhhh’ moment has been tempered by the niggling uncertainty of what may yet lie ahead.

Last week it was the fridge freezer. As Mike unlocked the kitchen door an alarm was sounding. One of those dreadful electronic pinging sounds that can set teeth on edge quicker than any dentist and wheedle its way instantly into the core of a susceptible brain. The digital numbers on the temperature display were much too high, even though the fridge clearly still had power. The man on the Customer Support desk fell some way short of encouraging. “Sounds like the compressor was damaged in your house move. Those parts have to come from Germany…”

This week, when the back door opened, a pool of water came to greet us across the kitchen floor. So much water that it was not immediately clear exactly where it was coming from. The vinyl flooring came up. The plinth from every one of the kitchen units quickly followed it onto the path outside. Water was seeping up through the concrete slab just below the sink. Whilst I was mopping up the water the central heating came on. And as if by magic the seeping stopped. A heating pipe had sprung a leak: as the copper warmed and expanded the hole closed up.

C’est la vie.

It is summer.

I can have the heating on day and night. Or cook and have a foot spa all at the same time.

As long as I don’t need any milk.

It was in the plan (oh yes). We’d just hadn’t got round to it yet. New kitchen please Mike.