Wednesday, 10 March 2010

A plea to the TechnoSprites.

This is a plea to the sprites that live in all things electrical, mechanical and just plain technological - how about leaving me alone or, at least, giving me a break?

I have this weird ability to break stuff just by being in the same room as it.  For example, the computer I used when I worked at the University would behave itself for a while but then, one morning, I'd try to do something it thought was outrageous such as, say, turning it on, and it would throw a hissy fit and refuse to behave.  I'd try all the clever ways of trying to get it to work, you know, switching it off and then on again, but to no avail.  I would then have to get the department's IT-fixing guy in, he'd sit down, do EXACTLY what I had done, and the bastard thing would work.  IT guy would look at me witheringly, tut under his breath and leave, slowly shaking his head.  I swear that thing had an in-built Testosterone detector and some days it would just refuse to work until someone with testicles touched the keyboard (although preferably not with his testicles). This would happen several times a year.

I can break the telly just by picking up the remote control.

It is mostly though computers that muck me about.  I used to complain to TLH that these things were conspiring against me, and I'm sure he thought I was just being ridiculous.  But then we started living together, and he's now spent many hours fixing the various computers that I have managed to break by just pushing the 'on' switch, so I think he believes me.

As you know, he had to go to Wales to look after his parents (his dad is much improved, by the way, thanks for your kind comments - it's what happens next that's going to be tricky) and needed to get on the road by about 1pm.  This gave me enough time to use the car (we have just the one) in the morning to get the shopping in. At about 11am, I jumped in the car, turned the switch and just heard 'click-click-click-click-click', then a beep, then messages scrolling along the little screen on the dashboard (we have an ancient Range Rover that tells us stuff - it's very clever) saying stuff like 'Gearbox failure.  ABS failure' and then repeating the message in German!  See, I'd managed to break the car just by trying to turn it on.  And just at a time when it was most needed.  Turns out that, although we'd had a long drive on Saturday (to Alresford in Hants and back again to do a craft fair), the battery had gone flat.  I had to ring my stepdad, Da, to come over to give TLH a lift to the nearest Land Rover garage (about 20 mins drive away) to buy a new battery so he could go to Wales.

Then how about this morning?  I woke up a bit later than usual, about 8.15am (there are upsides to not having any kids to have to get to school) to be faced with a swarm of two cats across the bed demanding their breakfast.  I got up, chucked on my dressing gown so I could feed them quickly and get them out of my face, and we all trotted downstairs.  Cats were duly fed, more or less to their satisfaction, and I sat on the sofa to fire up the laptop to check mail and blogs (or 'read mah storees' as I call it).  I thought it felt a bit colder than it should in the living room, so got up to adjust the thermostat.  It clicked, the boiler didn't fire up.  Good grief.  I fiddled with the thermostat, making it click like a demented castanet player with Parkinsons but nothing.

Yes, I've broken the central heating. By trying to turn it on.  I rang TLH although I didn't want to - he's stressed enough as it is - and he talked me through taking the front off the boiler (we have an old hot air blowing boiler-type thing - it probably needs replacing in all honesty) and seeing if the pilot light was on.  This eventually resulted in my having to take photos on my iPhone to send him of the boiler because I'll be buggered if I know where to look for the pilot light.

Transpires that the pilot light is out.  He told me what to do to light it but, as usual, it wouldn't work for me.  So now I'm sitting in a slightly chilly sitting room (thank Jeebus it's not too cold outside today), with the curtains shut to keep in what heat I have got, with a portable electric radiator doing its best.  Roger the Boiler Man has been summoned and will be here after 2pm.

Honestly, sometimes I should just stay in bed and not touch anything.


Anonymous said...

Well, I can't say I've ever come across a blog with a photo of a boiler before!
Anyway, my dad used to repair such boilers when I was little and he made sure that my mom, brother and I could all check and relight the pilot light. So imagine my discomfort when I discovered that the house I currently live in has a furnace with electronic ignition and NO pilot light! I don't know what to check on it! I feel like something is missing!
Good luck with your repairs - hope you get warm soon.

Mrs Jones said...

Pinklea - hello! Many comments are fine, even if they're the same one repeated! I like putting lots of pictures on my postings so it was troubling me that I didn't have one for this, then I remembered that I had ones of the boiler on my iPhone, so there you are! Roger the Boiler Man has thankfully been - seems the thermocouple had burned out so there was no possibility of me ever getting the pilot light lit again. Everything is now very toasty!

Kella said...

Glad to hear it all worked out for you today the temp is still so cold at night.

Sorry to hear the techno imps like to tease you but it does make for a good enjoyable read :)

Anonymous said...

Now that's why I love our log burning stove! It's our only form of heat as I refuse to use the storage heaters (useless and expensive) and it does the job tremendously well.
Glad to hear you're all toasty warm again now.
Cousin K xx

Mrs Jones said...

Kella - I'm lucky that it's not quite as cold now as it was a few weeks back but, all the same, it was most unwelcome! Roger the Boiler is an absolute life-saver.

Karla - See, now, I would kill for a wood-burning stove but we have absolutely nowhere in our house to put one, believe me, we've seriously thought about it. I am, however, insistent that our 'next house' must have either an open fire or, preferably, a woodburner (along with enough land for a decent fruit 'n' veg patch, freerange chickens and a water source. Oh, and enough money to pay for it!!!)