That's quite a disturbing noise, isn't it, dear reader?
For those of you unable to pinpoint it, it's the sound of a domestic central heating system experiencing quite a lot of distress. More to the point, it was the sound of my central heating system shuffling off this mortal coil at about 5.00 this morning.
I'm really a little particular about this "being warm" thing, especially as we rush headlong towards a British winter. Call me a pansy if you will, but I prefer my radiators to, well, radiate. So a quick call to British Gas was in order. The lovely Geoff gave me the options. I could pay a huge amount of money for someone to come out, breathe sharply through their teeth, replace the bits that were on the fritz and leave, never to darken my door again. Or they'd fix it and any future problems for free if I signed up for a service plan there and then, for an (ahem) modest monthly outlay.
He then went through even more options. I'm not sure what you get for the most expensive one, but for that monthly payment I'd expect not just central heating cover, but a life coach, dancing classes, French lessons and some "special extras". So I went for the cheapest option and the gas man cometh tomorrow. I'm such a sucker for a Yorkshire accent.
Apparently, the coldest place on Earth is the Antarctic Plateau. However, chez fatboyfat was running it close when I got home this evening. The electric fire was therefore pressed into service. In normal times we don't use this - it chucks out a whole load of therms but the extra demand apparently causes blackouts across the Home Counties. It's been ages since we last used it - so the burning dust now makes the place smell like we've been barbecuing the cat. And what's that noise? Oh. That'll be the smoke alarm, then.
In unrelated news, Sky have written to me today - twice - to tell me about the planned delivery date for the Sky+ box that I've ordered. And already had installed. Last week, in fact. If they're that confused, perhaps I can just pretend to pay them.
Severn Trent Water have written to tell me the planned mains water cut-off for maintenance in the area will not, as previously informed, run from midnight on 5th November to 6.00am on 6th October. That's a shame, as I was curious to see how a public utility would manage that whole "going back in time" thing.
Why can't some of this crap happen next month, when I'll need to have things to write about?
Did I mention I was ill? Ill, I tell you! I think I was laid low by a rogue tortilla at a lunchtime buffet. Katie is neither help nor comfort:
Me: I'm sorry, I must sound like an old bastard.
Katie: You are an old bastard.
I swear, it's like the Seventh Circle of Hades here sometimes, only without the witty banter.