Yeap, as promised I have returned – albeit very briefly and in a somewhat makeshift fashion. Yeap, I this is what I been reduced to, linking my laptop up to my phone, sitting in the back of the car as himself drives me and the testosterone filled one down to Merseyside to watch the strawberry blond hand grenade bully off in the inaugural school hockey match this afternoon.
As I am sure you have guessed we still have no phone or wifi at EIOT Towers with BT being very vague about our prospects of being in touch with the outside world anytime this side of Christmas. They seem to blame the remoteness of the cottage as a reason but as we have telephone wires leading to the house and a ‘BT OpenReach’ box installed in the house that argument seems pretty weak to me. When in a heated conversation the woman at the end of the line commented that all houses are built with these now, I struggled to refrain from pointing out that as our house is over 200 years old that was pretty impressive if it was indeed installed when it was built.Anyway, we are still sans WIFI and landline and the nearest mobile signal is around 3 miles away, so blogging potential is somewhat limited.
However, some flickers of light are that we now have water. The supply from between two stones in the field behind the house has responded well to a full flush out and the various holding tanks are filling fast with pure spring water, (no, there is no mains water at all much to the surprise of the Silver Surfer who I touched base with this week). The temperature of the water varies somewhat between freezing and skin peeling, but we have water.
No longer does the kitchen illuminate yellow as the water pump struggles to raise the water from the holding tank in the field to the header tank, when in fact it was actually just pumping up a trickle of water and masses of air. The noise that this created was incredible and the vibrations moved us steadily from one side of the sunroom floor to the other in our sleeping bags over night. As pretty much all it was pumping was air, then it went on for hours, and hours and hours…..
That seems to have now passed with an abundance of water passing relatively silently and quickly up to the roof and the glaringly bright bulb in the kitchen switches itself off.
The only heating source for the water at the moment is the wood burner in the lounge so any reduced log fire activity means less hot water. The immersion heater seems to be a bit poorly and I am waiting on a visit from the local plumber and we are waiting on yet another visit from the slightly harassed Rayburn man so in time we are vaguely optimistic of other sources of hot water production. With the pending next visit from the Rayburn man we will hopefully be self-sufficient with food and no longer barbecuing at every meal or living off jacket potatoes at the local pub.
The electricity has been on constantly for several days now with no visits from the lovable workaholic electrician for a few days.
The Rayburn is another story as here we are waiting on our third visit from the Rayburn magician who has commented on the geriatric nature of our inbuilt cooking and heating monster.
The official prognosis is that with love, attention and regular visits from Dr Rayburn it may hobble on for another couple of years – if we are lucky. The last visit resulted in no lighting thanks to a blocked chimney which meant that when he placed his coloured smoke bomb in the aging monster and all amassed outside to view the exiting smoke, great disappointment ensued when nothing happened and instead the kitchen filled with green smoke. Yeap, the chimney was blocked.
So, this morning we were greeted with a visit from the local chimney sweep who heroically swept all the chimneys while drinking tea and chastising the small man for being in his pyjamas at 0820. Nobody seems to sleep in deepest Cumbria.
I have to say that there has been a whole lot of soul searching over this week, with himself and I struggling with bad backs and a particularly painful hip after carrying a particularly heavy book shelf down the stairs.
Bad backs, a bad hip and complete exhaustion do not a successful Great North Run make and to be honest we are in no state to even contemplate the event. The house has got the better of us.
So, it was with heavy hearts we withdrew from the event this week. This was not an easy decision but its the chaos that has consumed us of late we honestly have had no choice and the biggest trip we can even contemplate at the moment is travelling down the relatively short distance to watch the strawberry blond one playing hockey before heading back to Chez EIOT to resume the next round of making it habitable.
Before making this decision we touched base with our friends who lost their little sunflower last year to make sure that we were not letting them or their little sunflower down – not at all with everything that had been achieved by all. Then we explained to Tommy’s – no problem there either.
We are still however donating all the required money to the Charity and will be continuing the fundraising as soon as the house is vaguely sorted and we have recovered.
Right, almost at the hockey match, best I switch focus to cheering on the side lines. I can feel plenty of this coming on over the coming years, when it is not hickey it will be rugby. Best I get my thermals and water-proofs ready – what a contrast.
Will be back with more gory details when I can – believer me you have had the condensed version, it has been a real roller-coaster!
Don’t forget to donate, this is all about raising money for Tommy’s