Saturday, December 3, 2011

keeping warm

It is December already and I've finished my Christmas shopping and have all my parcels mailed off to Canada and the U.S. Amazingly, instead of the usual six weeks, I've been informed one of the packages has arrived at its destination within a week's time. It must have had its own wings.

This upcoming Tuesday afternoon we are having our Secret Santa party for the hotel's housekeeping department. Everyone brings a wrapped present under £3 and a dish of some kind and after the festivities we are heading to a bar for some karoake. I am informed we have some real singers in our group, of which I am sadly not (a singer).

Finally this week, after a month of sporadic heating problems and two weeks of  no heat, I have a warm flat. It is seldom cold here like a Canadian winter but because of the constant dampness and a ground floor corner apartment with concrete floors and little insulation, it can feel as cold. Because my heat was only working when it felt like it, instead of on the timer as it was supposed to do, and because it naturally worked the first time the plumber came to fix it, I was being patronized by my landlord and plumber.

Even though I worked the easy system perfectly fine last winter, they didn't believe I had a problem even when the plumber arrived following a totally heatless week and I greeted him in three layers of woollens, a hat and scarf. He turned the system on and it worked! I said, it won't stay on -- it will probably go off in half an hour. Fortunately, he stuck around. After 15 minutes the heat died. It took him awhile, but he found not one, but at least two problems.

So now I have heat! Having no heat, fighting an unrelated head cold at the same time, and wondering if the boiler's problems and the presence of the plumber would ever happily coincide is very wearing. I didn't realize until after Roger, the amazing and genial plumber and part-time DJ, married to a woman who taught in Medicine Hat, Alberta for years, plumbed the problem that I had been a deeply unhappy camper. I had been able to sleep well in all my layers, but I also had visions of me living like that for months.

All's well with heat!

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