As weather blogs go, this one is probably a bit of a failure. I haven’t quite got round to keeping it up on a daily basis and consequently there is no onus on me to complete it at all regularly. Anyway, all I shall add for now is that yesterday the sky looked like one of my old duvets, a dull grey lumpy uninspiring sky. Today, on the other hand, the clouds had all disappeared and I saw several people driving through our village with their roofs down. I’m not convinced it was really warm enough to put the roof down, but I suppose if someone’s spent that much money on a convertible, they’ll probably want to get maximum use out of it.
On a more specifically village-y note, I’m now going to have a rant. In some ways, this isn’t specific to the village, but if we lived in a town, we’d probably have gas, so the issue wouldn’t arise. The issue I’m referring to here is that of heating oil, or more accurately, replacement heating oil tanks.
Our village doesn’t have gas. We’re not alone, many villages don’t have gas and I know this because British Gas has told us as much. They have offered to convert the village to gas if there’s enough demand, and then we’d have to pay thousands of pounds each for the privilege. You can guess the reaction to that letter. Some people stick to electricity, some have calor gas cylinders or tanks, and the rest put up with oil. There’s been a lot in the news lately about oil being stolen from tanks because it’s so expensive that thieves think it’s worthwhile pinching. I don’t know if they use it themselves or try and sell it in the pub, though even the daftest brush would have to be suspicious of someone selling buckets of heating oil. Anyway, the OH decided we should have a new tank with a padlock on. I did point out that there’s enough folks go past our house on a regular basis that a thief would have to be pretty desperate to target us rather than, say, one of the remote farmhouses on the edge of the village, but I suppose it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, a small local firm was booked to do the work because the OH likes to support small local businesses rather than feed the coffers of multinationals who don’t pay any tax.
Big mistake. To begin with, we got a call on Monday asking if they could start the following day. That was fine. Except then they finished at lunchtime on Tuesday, came back for Wednesday morning and said they’d be back Thursday to finish. Unfortunately that wasn’t an option, as I had agreed to drive Delyth to the out-patient department in our nearby city hospital for a minor procedure that I promised faithfully to keep secret, so I won’t tell you what it was, but it meant that I would be out all day on Thursday. Never mind, said our small local business, we’ll come and finish off on Friday. So I spent Friday haunting the windows and listening out for the doorbell and not doing anything noisy like vacuuming and not going out, on the off-chance that they turned up. Which they didn’t.
All of which means that we have a half-finished mess at the side of the house and no access to the garage. Naturally, because the sun was shining today, the OH though he’d go for a bike ride before settling down to watch some rugby.
“Ah. Can’t open the garage,” I reminded him. Where he keeps his bike.
His reply is not really suitable for family viewing.
So my rant is about firms that don’t turn up when they say they’re going to, and don’t bother phoning you to let you know that they’re not going to turn up. And don’t even anyone answering their phones at 12.30 on a Friday afternoon, when I tried phoning to find out what was going on and had to leave a message. I know oil-tank replacement firms aren’t the only ones that fall foul of this rant, but they’re what inspired it.
P.S. Delyth’s procedure went very well and she’s taking me out to lunch next week as a small thank you. Probably the day that they decide to come and finish the oil-tank job!