Wednesday, December 05, 2007

It's actually very nice.

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.


Tim F said...

A fireman groupie. I knew you'd make something of yourself.

kaiki said...

The first shared flat I moved into in Brighton had the shower somehow connected to the wiring in the kitchen which meant you could not cook if someone was having a shower, or use the bathroom light if the grill was switched on.
Luckily a charming electrician lived next door who, on inspecting the wiring declared it ‘hazardous’, ‘lethal’ and ‘fucking illegal’.
I know how you both feel, James.

Anonymous said...

When I was 10, I helped my dad wire our basement conversion (in Canada). He would make helpful suggestions like, 'that should be fine,' 'touch that to see if it's live,' and 'we don't need an inspection if we don't add a fuse box.' Needless to say, I've been terrified of electricity ever since, but at least now I know how to use a fire extinguisher.

llewtrah said...

The electrics in my kitchen were also lethal and illegal. The previous occupant ran a spur to the garage off the cooker socket and when it rained the fuses blew. Needless to say, I've dismantled that spur!

Anonymous said...

Some of the mains sockets in my house are upside down. I prefer to think this is merely creative and artistic thinking by an electrician somewhere along the line. The alternative is that my house was wired by an utter dufus, and I can live without that thought.

kaiki said...

James, speaking as a girl with some experience of firemen….

*rethinks that sentence*

Speaking as a girl who worked with firemen I can tell you that they are also partial to chocolate cornflake cakes and mini rolls too.

kirsten said...

I've just moved into an old house and me, electronics lover, was much distressed to find only 1 powerpoint in the room I have (I flat with 5 others). The boyfriend thus bought me a Multibox of Joy, which turned out to be a Multibox of Hell when it started buzzing and sparking next to my new lovely bedsheets.

Needless to say Multibox of Hell has been rejected and sent back to the shop for a very important NZ$5 refund.

janey33 said...

Congrats to both of you on your new abode. Probably a good idea to keep the smoke alarms in working order, but living so close to the fire station, they'll hear them before you do! I live in a Victorian house and whenever I turn on the shower, the kitchen lights dim down. Then when I turn it off, they brighten up again. I like to kid myself that it's some carbon off-setting scheme cunningly installed by the shower people into their appliances. And yes, I do have smoke alarms!