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.