At about this time last year, I took a walk through the garden and had my eyes opened to the beauty of winter. This year, though, I am struggling to see the positives. It feels like it has been cold and unpleasant for months, even though I know that we actually live in quite a sheltered valley, and have seen far less snow and ice than elsewhere in the UK. I just have to face the fact, I think, that I am not a winter person. Ironic, really, that when I met him, D spent most of his spare time at the curling rink.
The cats are no more impressed than I am. They both ventured out into the snow briefly to play but the novelty wore off quite quickly when their paws got cold and wet. Since then, they have asked to go out and then looked at me in disgust when I open the door. When they have gone out, they have usually been back within a few minutes and headed straight for the radiator. The summer, where they are out until late and we all enjoy the sunshine seems like a different lifetime.
As if to add insult to injury, we got up this morning to a cold house. You may remember that last year we welcomed a new addition to the family in the form of a new boiler, affectionately named Boris. He has kept us cosy inside, no matter how cold, snowy and unpleasant it has been outdoors. Today, though, he let us down. I thought it was odd when the cats came straight back to bed after breakfast, snuggling up relatively close to each other as if huddling together for warmth. It soon became clear why as I went downstairs – no heating, no hot water. Disaster!
It wasn’t really Boris’s fault. We were responsible for his welfare and we had been negligent, not topping up the pressure when we should. The result was that Boris kept on going for as long as he could but, as the water pressure dropped to zero, he just couldn’t carry on. Fortunately, he has a built in sense of self preservation and his automatic cut-out swung into action and switched him off.
All that would have been unfortunate but we could have shrugged it off with an embarrassed “oops!” if it hadn’t been for one thing – we couldn’t actually remember how to repressurise the system. D went off to his nice centrally heated office and I wrapped up warmly in coat and fingerless gloves to try and get hold of the heating engineer.
Eventually, he came to my rescue and talked me through the solution. I apologised to Boris for our neglect and promised faithfully to look after him better in the future. I think we reached a new understanding and it has brought us closer as a family. Certainly the cats are grateful – they are back sitting by the radiators and looking much happier!