Patroclus and I have finally moved into the new house (rented) in Falmouth. The house is in a small cul de sac opposite my old school. When I went to the school, the cul de sac was an open patch of land. The houses (all self-builds) are now all nicely weathered with lichen on the roofs. Consequently I feel a bit old.
The owners of the house, a nice policeman and his family, have moved to Australia. Before they left, the nice policeman gave a bit of advice on the slightly 'characterful' electrics of the house.
NICE POLICEMAN: ... oh, and the light over the shower goes off sometimes, but you can just reach up and fiddle with it and it'll come on again, it'll be fine.
I make a mental note NEVER TO DO THAT EVER. Fortunately, the house backs onto Falmouth's fire station.
On moving in, one of the first things I did, like a fool, was to switch on the front room lights. They immediately fused, although fortunately I knew where the fuse box was, hurrah.
Later, half the lights in the kitchen (there's about twelve of them set into the ceiling) go out. And the lights in the utility room/demi-garage spark a bit, then go out as well.
I call a nice electrician. He sorts out the various lights, and while he's there, confirms that the reason the second set of sockets in Patroclus's study don't work is because they're not actually wired up to anything. In fact, it would have been a bit odd if they had worked.
He leaves his card.
Thirty minutes later, I turn on the lights in the front room. The house plunges into darkness once more.
On the plus side, there's two smoke alarms. I will be buying new batteries for both of them tomorrow. And checking them on an hourly basis. I think perhaps I will take some flapjacks round to the firepeople as well, just to keep in with them.