Was it really on on Saturday that I last posted? It seems like ages ago. So a quick catch-up.
Friday, work, and the return of the recurrent intermittent boiler problem. It's been fine all summer - because we haven't had the heating on. I phone gas man 1 and leave a message. Within 15 minutes he returns my call. I throw my papers in the air with delight. My delight is short-lived as he spends 15 minutes telling me why he can't or doesn't want to come and look at our boiler. I eventually get him off the phone and call gas man 2 and leave a message. (As of today no reply has been received.)
I call gas man 3; he will come Saturday morning. I dance around the room.
Friday evening and it's off to the restaurant for a meal with Great-uncle, family and friends. The bad throat that Husband has been fighting for a few days is worse but he manages to eat three courses.
Saturday morning the gas man comes. He spends a long time in the boiler room and then tells me he knows what's wrong with the boiler. I await his prognosis anxiously afraid that if he says it's the thermocouple I may tell him what to do with it. He says, 'It's a faulty valve.'
Husband has been saying this for months.
Apparently other things are wrong too: dodgy settings and the like. 'So it's a faulty valve that is causing your problems,' he says as he smiles and turns to walk away.
'Um, wait, can it be repaired?'
'Oh yes,' he says before taking another step.
'And can you do it?'
'Oh yes.' He is walking away now! I fear I may have to tie him up and keep him in the cupboard until he agrees to repair it.
'Will you do it then?'
'Oh,' he sounds surprised. 'Fiona-in-the-office said you just wanted someone to tell you what's wrong.'
'No, we want someone to fix it too.'
He will search out the part and get Fiona-in-the-office to work out a price for us. I am relieved. In spite of his apparent reluctance to do the work he sounds as though he knows what he's talking about.
Saturday afternoon I continue my preparation and panicking prior to speaking in prison on Sunday morning. I am reasonably calm until Husband reminds me that the last time I spoke there was almost a mini-riot.
Saturday evening I go to see The Help. (Linden is now running a monthly community cinema show.) Husband's throat is much worse so I'm on my own and have to eat all the chocolate buttons and popcorn I buy because it's being sold cheaply. The film is okay but not as good as the book. It seems they have a technical problem and can't get rid of the subtitles. It is almost impossible to not look at subtitles, which draw my attention away from the film so it might be better than I have given it credit for.
Sunday morning it turns out I'm not speaking in prison.
'You were supposed to be here last week,' the chaplain says.
'No, this week,' I say.
'No, last week.'
'No, this week.'
'It was changed, remember?'
'Yes, to this week!'
'No, to last week.'
I am convinced I am right but I apologise and we sit and listen to the speaker for the day. Not me. He's very good. When I get back I check my emails: I am right. It wasn't my mistake; that is a great relief as mistakes usually are mine.
Then it's off to the lunch party with 93-year-old Great-aunt, 91-year-old Great-uncle and his lady friend, 86-year-old Uncle and several of his lady friends. Speaking causes Husband great pain so he doesn't come although not much speaking is required from us when we attend a gathering of my relatives. I take him home a doggy bag of delicious food and he grumbles because what he really wants is a sandwich. And sympathy. He gets neither and I walk George in the pouring rain.
Monday morning, work, and the gas man can come on Friday to repair our boiler. It will cost about £250, which is a small price to pay for my sanity.
Monday afternoon and time to walk George. When Husband walks George he almost always takes a coat 'in case it rains'; when I walk George I almost never take a coat (unless it's cold) because 'it's not going to rain.'
We have gone about 50 yards in a fine drizzle when George says, 'Should you go back and get a coat?'
'It's not going to rain,' I say.
'No,' says George, 'it's not going to rain: it is raining.'
'No, they're the wrong sort of clouds for rain,' I say.
The not-rain-drizzle persists until we reach the tip then there is a sudden downpour. I yell, 'No!' The rain stops instantly. The rest of the walk the sun shines.
I feel like Canute only more successful.