The whole house lost power yesterday for about five hours, so we were descended into savage living without the internet and the telly, or even for that matter the radio. Mark could don the role of the “man of the house”, and he does look quite sexy in his workman’s clothes. In this case, a pair of dirty jeans, gloves, tools and no shirt. He started to dig in the electrical circuits until he found the likely culprit. A bad wire that short circuited the house.

Death_of_GrimesThere’s nothing quite so stressful as to watch the indicators of the laptop batteries go relentlessly down, and you know that soon – very soon – you’re even going to be without computers. Ninety per cent, eighty per cent, seventy, sixty. The batteries are dying too fast. What happened to the promise of four hours battery life? All this while you’re still in the zone writing that scene you’ve planned in your head for so long.

Our house apparently has a mind of its own sometimes; built during the 1960s, sold to Mark’s parents when the council sold off a lot of flats and houses because everyone was supposed to own their homes back then and anyone that didn’t was just a scrounger that took advantage of the taxpayers.

In that sort of light, no wonder that the maintenance has been a little spotty, and no wonder that the original designers and builder cut some corners. What I am wondering now is if I’m living in a fire-trap, and whether we should get an electrician to come in and go over the whole system. Mark has, since it’s his parents’ house, half-decided to do it himself, but there are some things that amateurs should not do. Electricity work is such a thing. It’s one thing to change a leaking pipe, and another to dabble with live wires.

So, that was our Sunday. We sat in the dark, well there was daylight but it’s more romantic to say that we sat in the dark. Mark had his shirt off digging through the electrical system of the house. I was trying to keep my mind on my novel I’m writing, but as you can imagine there were the distractions already mentioned…

Warp to Monday, and I’m still wondering if my house is going to kill me one day, and I’ve been half-nagging Mark about the electrician, and since I’m the nagging spouse he is digging his heels in a little bit because it’s like I’m questioning his working class pride. Luckily, we have the internet again, and both the dogs and the cat are back to their usual instead of running around to explore the strange state the house is in. In fact, both the dogs have taken over the “new” sofa we got a few months ago, and it’s as inundated with hair by now as the last one. The cat, has taken possession of the armchair we have. That is his spot, and he will fight for it if we try to remove him.

Tomorrow, mother is returning the call, and she’s coming down here – or rather to London – for the day. We’re to meet up in the town where my sister is buried, and then we’re going to the cemetery. She asked that I should come, and I see no reason to refuse. It will be good to see her again. My mother that is. The prospect of going to see my sister’s grave always makes me a bit sombre. I don’t know why.

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