Sunday, January 15, 2012

We have a few flakes

Gwenyth is back in Sydney dealing with the problems of people who live in houses for which they are responsible.

You know – when drains get blocked they have to fix them. We don’t have that problem here. I only have to deal with lights blowing – but we have so many I get one every couple of days.

They are all ‘down’ lights and the globes are supposed to last 10,000 hours or years or something like that and I find that they do last quite a long time if you can get them past the first five seconds but an extraordinary number pop as soon as I put them in.

I have given you a picture of a down light so you know what I am talking about.

I climb up and take the old one out  and put the new one in and then climb down and turn the light on to make sure it works and when it does I turn the lights off again as you can’t refit it while it is on as it gets too hot.

Fitting can be tricky because while there is surely – (indeed must be by now) – a better method – ours is the old ring of springy metal which you have to pinch together with needle-nosed pliers and insert inside the ring of the light fitting.

The inevitable result as you let go the ring is a ‘ping’ as the metal ring launches itself into space and hides somewhere in the room – usually under a piece of furniture – and it will do this as many times as it likes – it has the patience of Job.

It can – cunningly – do this with a high degree of stealth so sometimes you cannot ever hear it land and don’t even know where to start looking.

When I eventually get it fitted I climb down and turn the lights on – to find that the light I have just fitted is not actually working at all.  Not quite 10,000 hours then.

Not that we do not have household responsibilities for the house we own in Australia –  its just that our agent looks after this for us – for a considerable sum of money of course.

The current person is Milton and he sends us notes saying things like ‘the sliding door track for the laundry door needs replacing and the quote for this is $326.67 - can we go ahead?’

Look I once would have queried a cost like this but it is after all only the cost of a modest continental breakfast in Norway so now I would just say – sure Milton – and have it bronzed as well for a lasting job.

We burned the Christmas tree last week. It seems impossible but it grew when we were away and we had difficulty getting into the apartment when we got back.

It put up a hell of a struggle and it took us hours of hand to hand combat to chop it up into burn size chunks and get it into the fire. It took three of us to do it and it went spitting and fizzling and sizzling to meet its maker. The cats were not happy.

So we are back to normal in Am Heumarkt. The Snow Fairy teased us today with a few little half-baked flakes. But we have hopes – it is very cold at the moment and the air conditioning has clagged out.

This is always a good sign of impending frigid weather and possible snow. Let us hope.


  1. I am glad that your lives have gotten back to 'normal' as long as that was your desire.

    As far as helping you with the lights and their flying pieces, I would suggest a gigantic electromagnet to capture the flying thingie. But check it first to be sure that the thingie is magnetic.

    I am playing with bio fuels as well. I saved some of my sausage grease from lunch today in order to someday soon make a batch of biodiesel. My friend at the restaurant is going to get me five gallons of grease to play with for a start. Then I will build my first chemical reactor. I just need to find a cheap supply of methanol, no luck so far. Only massive quantities here in town by the drum, big bucks investment.

  2. "down" light.. does it need therapy? ahahaha! I have heard that just a fingerprint on the glass causes these brutes to detonate

  3. We have these accursed lamps in our bathroom, and they cause J all sorts of problems when she changes them. Thank the stars that it's her job and not mine.

    Simon's right about the fingerprint issue. It was the same when I had to change similar bulbs in our printing machines in the photo labs in which I've worked.

    They should always be handled with cloths, cotton gloves, or surgical gloves. Gloves are easiest.

    Bulbs just don't last like they used to. Our "guaranteed for 3 years" bulbs struggle to last for 3 months.

    The best ones are from Ikea - we find that they last twice as long as those bought for twice the price from our local supermarket.

  4. LOL at changing the down light bulbs - we have as much fun in our home as what it sounds like you have in yours with changing them !

    Gotta love normalcy - hope, overall, you enjoyed your holiday.


  5. In our last house we had over 100 'down' lights, including the ones that were outside and in the garage. I hated them. I hate overhead lighting anyway, but changing them was a pain and the expense of running them and replacing them was ridiculous. Never again!

  6. esb: I am not sure it is magnetic. But I rethink I could tie a piece of cotton to it - that would do the job. Or you could swing by - you would be better at it. Good luck with the bio fuels - you will need to eat a lot of sausages.

    simon: taking it out of its packet causes it to detonate.

    nzm; I do get much choice there. They are all expensive - and equally useless.

    Me: I am staggered at the primitive system used to deliver the technology. There must be a better way to insert the thingy in there and lock it?

    SK Waller: We have that number. Its scary. I lie awake at night and think about them popping.

  7. I have noticed that here in Queensland, some downlights are also fitted with a small transformer which sits in the ceiling just near the light. If the new bulbs don't work then it could be the transformer. Good luck with that.

  8. Downlights are (were) a most unsatisfactory way of delivering light. I have to get the damned electrician in to change them in my place, which seems an expensive option... But I see you are still committed to the (very helpful) manly option of changing them yourself..

  9. Pam's D.H: Well I can assure that will certainly be a job for an electrician - there are no Badgers who are going to mess about in the ceiling.

    Merricks: Yes but only the easy ones. And I agree they are a very poor way of delivering light.