Thursday, 21 July 2016

It never rains but it pours

It never rains but it pours, they say. Misfortunes don’t come singly.

First, it was the illness of our poodle Luci, which I mentioned in a previous post. It came back at the weekend with a vengeance. Which, as were talking digestive problems, is pretty vengeful. It meant a second emergency vet visit, near midnight on Saturday. Whatever the old music hall song meant when it talked of my delight on a Saturday night, I’m sure it wasn’t hanging around a 24-hour vet service.

The vet was good and, above all, encouraging so we went home reasonably relaxed, ready for a pleasant and restorative night’s sleep. Which, it turned out, we were to be denied. At 4:28, the burglar alarm bleeped plaintively at us. That didn’t mean an intruder had broken in, putting the system into a panic, it meant that its power supply had failed, merely making it depressed and upset.

So I went downstairs and removed things from the cupboard at the back of which our fuse box is conveniently located. The trip switch had indeed tripped. So I untripped it. Or do I mean reset it? Whichever, I did it. The alarm bleeped at me contentedly and I headed back upstairs to catch up on my interrupted sleep...

There’s something cruel about a half hour in bed. It’s enough time to fall deeply asleep but nothing like enough to get rested. And that’s how long it took before the alarm system took to start bleeping again.

This time I knew I had to do a more thorough job. I unplugged a whole load of appliances, reset the system and started to plug the appliances back in.

When I came to the fridge, bingo, it tripped the system. I tried again; with the fridge unplugged , the electrics worked like a dream; with it plugged back in, they tripped again leaving the poor old alarm as unhappy as ever.

We don’t do really hot in this country. This week, however, has seen the temperatures rise to the highest level we’ve seen them for ages. Not the best time for our fridge (and freezer) to go.

So we ordered another one. On a Sunday, mind – that’s the beauty of shopping on-line, you can get more or less anything, more or less anytime. The shop even gave us a delivery slot on Monday. So we could relax and focus instead on our still unwell Luci.

Poor, sad little creature
The trouble with a dog that small is that you have the feeling she has nothing with which to fight an illness. She lay there looking miserable and in pain, and it looked to me as though her frame simply wouldn’t take it. In fact, she seemed in such a bad way that Danielle took her in for another emergency vet visit that afternoon.

Monday came and at least the fridge turned up. That’s when we discovered the downside of shopping on-line. You really have to know what you’re ordering. We thought that an ‘integrated’ fridge-freezer was one that combined both things, which was what we wanted. Turns out it means itfor building in to a fitted kitchen.

We needed a free-standing model.

So the delivery men took it away again (they also took away the old one, so at least that was one headache the less). A phone conversation identified the right model to order, and the whole process went smoothly, but neither of us could be at home during the day again until Thursday.

That meant that we had to go the three hottest days of the year without a fridge. That’s been educative. We took having a fridge for granted. Believe me, spend a few hot days without one and you learn not to do that any more.

Still, at least Luci was gradually recovering. Indeed, there came a point when she had improved so far that we could hardly deny that she was out of the woods – why, she’d taken to walking on my keyboard again, if I wasn’t paying enough attention to her, and biting my nose if that didn’t work.

“She’s fine,” I assured Danielle, rubbing my nose, “fully back to her usual self.”

By then the men had turned up with the fridge too. We left it standing for a while like you should, and then turned it on. Worked a dream. Fortunate events don’t come singly either, it seems, just like misfortunes. We were so pleased, we even cooled a couple of good bottles to celebrate the event.

Civilised life returns
Except that now, of course, the clouds have come up again. It even looks like it might rain. Or possibly pour. Uninviting conditions, at any rate, for sitting outside with a glass of chilled white wine to recover from the strains of the last few days.

Fortunes and misfortunes don’t come singly. Seems they don’t come unmixed either.

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