Wednesday, 17 October 2007

The Dark Side

Listening to: My Brain is Hanging Upside Down (Ramones)
Weather: Bright sunshine, light wind
Lunch: sausage sandwich and PG Tips

It has not been a good 24 hours. Last night I came closer than I ever have before to admitting this was a huge mistake and I'm so far out of my depth I should give up paddling and slink back to the Midlands.

Nothing, but nothing, seems to go right first time and it has become very wearing. On top of the catalogue of breakages - which I could live with - came clear evidence that I have broken a mirror or two, run over a black cat, walked under ladders, not to mention being born on the 13th.

I had spent a productive day preparing a soakaway area behind the barn which should solves a lot of our drainage problems. I was looking forward to lowering my aching carcass into a deep, possibly smelly, bath.

I turned the taps. . . nothing. Sod it! Sod it! Sod it! The pressure had gone again. A small, steady flow was coming out of the cold tap, but nothing out of the hot.

I swore loudly, several times. Thought for a moment and swore again, and a couple more times for luck. Not much I could do except eat my tea, watch a bit of telly, read my book and get to bed, having had a nice cold wash in the sink - just like being back at school.

I settled down in front of the devil's lantern, presses the button on the remote control and was plunged into darkness. The swearing reached world class levels.

My first reaction was, of course that something disastrous had happened in the fuse box, but a quick look out of the window confirmed that there were no lights on the whole island. I went in search of candles, but away from the window it was pitch black. I stumbled about trying to find the candles, but had no idea where to look (feel?).

The organisation of household usefuls is normally Mrs Trainee Pig Farmer's department, so I thought I'd give her a call. Got my mobile out and, sure enough, there was no signal. The power failure must have affected the mast as well. So, it was a case of blundering through into the kitchen to the landline, falling over the cat in the process.

"They're in the cupboard under the stairs of course," said Mrs TPF, the sound of ice clinking in a gin and tonic in the background, telly on, presumably a selection of electric lights illuminating the proceedings. She'd probably had a bath as well.

"Oh, right," said I, feeling a little foolish, then blathering something about not being able to see in the dark.

I rummaged around under the stairs and eventually found a couple, fumbled around after some matches and got back into the front room where I was now able to light a fire and, in fairness, it was cosy sitting there reading in the flickering light.

At some stage I dropped off, waking only at about 2am when the lights, radio and TV all came back on.


I, like the view said...

I've been there!!! well, not literally. . . this was my life in Shropshire (minus the trainee pig farming!)

the trick is to have romantic/smelly/boring but functional candles in every room

do it now!! (and leave matches/lighters everywhere)

presumably you have a log burner or a coal fired aga? hope sp. . .

I'm vicariously living The Good Life with you and enjoying every minute


you are not, repeat, not allowed to leave now! or I'll cry; and you don't want a comment box full of girly sobs, do you

good luck for the forseeable

I, like the view said...

(anyhow, if it was easy and not a challenge, there wouldn't be any point, would there?!)


I, like the view said...

of course, I should have just not said any of that but said this, or something similar, instead:

the force is strong in this one

Malc said...

It's OK, don't panic. . . just a cry-baby wobble. I'm OK now after some therapy with Eric and Ernie and tea round at Mr and Mrs D's place.

Candles are in place, with matches. We have a brand new multi-fuel burner, but it is sitting, unconnected, in the barn. We can't do anything with the house until our grant application goes through or not. Open coal fire, calor gas heater and electric radiators it is for Malcy boy.

Where in Shropshire were you - or can't you remember?

I, like the view said...

oooooh, an open coal fire! you can make toast and heat a kettle when the worst comes to the worst then. . .

*scratches head*

somewhere in between the Iron Bridge, Much Wenlock and Brosely; somewhere in between a power station, an open cast coal mine and a quarry pit

on top of a hill, under a patch of sky used by trainee pilots on beautiful sunny days (ie constant irritating buzzing of light aircraft, more annoying than living under the flight path in south west London from whence I had come)

there were no pavements along which to push various babies and smallish people in their perambulation machines, but I did see a comet, had a garden full of pheasants and once managed not to run over a stag which crossed my path as I drove down the lane

selection of great pubs, whose names I forget, walks on Wenlock Edge and along paths with views of the flooded river valley on the way into Shrewsbury - and, best of all, it snowed in the winter!!

various friends, aquaintances and neighbouring people who either worked in Birmingham, were ex-pats from London or who had never left the county (dunno who was the scariest out of that lot)

oh, and a C16th five bedroomed house with an enourmous garden (for the same price as a two bed first floor maisonette in SW London) into which I sunk my inheritance and various other moneys. . . only to sell it at a loss three years later

The Birdwatcher said...

I like a nice power cut. As long as its not during the rugby mind. Mrs BW has an excellent stash of torches and candles but not even she can fix it so the tele wil come back on during a power cut. Yet.

Malc said...


Know the area well - my first wife was born in Broseley. Not that that is a recommendation (I love doing double thats).

George and Dragon in Much Wenlock is one of my favourites. . . in fact, I may revise the world top ten.

I have spent most of my adult life so far in Shropshire (although the ten years in Bishop's Castle doesn't really count as that's an alternative dimension) and the natives are the scariest bunch.