We need to find a Sparky. An Electrician.
The house sale documents made reference to recent electrical work but we had no paperwork to back it up. Our insurance company wanted to see it. In fact they were going to insist on it. The best thing surely would be to contact the electrician who had carried out the work. Perhaps the paperwork had just been overlooked?
We had his phone number and tried to call. Again and again. Several days elapsed and Mike decided to drive over to his house. Deserted. Empty nest. The bird had flown. We tried not to worry. Or check the ports and airports. Not yet anyway.
Mike fell back on his good friend Google. It is amazing to think that Google began as a research project by two PhD students at Stanford University, as recently as January 1996. I don’t know how we would manage without it now. A brief search revealed that our electrician hadn’t moved far. Yes, he could remember doing an inspection report and recommending a number of actions, but not having been asked to complete the work. Ancient wiring in a thatched property is a disaster waiting to happen. Insurance company aside, for our own peace of mind the work would have to be done. And so, a couple of days later, the electrician returned with a new fuse box and a seriously large reel of armoured cable.
All seemed to be going swimmingly (I use the word advisedly), until much later that same afternoon. I was digging deep within the shrubbery when a van rounded the corner at the top of the drive with distinct signwriting on its side:
‘Paul Brinscombe, Plumber’
An unexpected turn of events and perhaps a timely moment to check on the progress of works indoors. I found our electrician on his hands and knees in the cramped confines of the boiler cupboard attempting, with mixed success, to catch water from a liberally spurting pipe. Mike, meanwhile, was frantically mopping up but the puddle was still visibly expanding across the dining room floor. Paul Brinscombe surveyed the scene briefly and unpacked his monkey wrench.
In trying to attach an earth wire to the pipe, our electrician had unwittingly stumbled upon a disastrously weak joint. How fortunate to have found a Sparky with connections. Because now we’ve got a plumber too.