Thursday, May 12, 2022

The fuse ...

The fuse, mountain climbing electricians, mother-loving plumbers, five days without a shower and keeping perspective.

Saturday: This morning there was no hot water.  I called the electrician. He was in Arthurs Pass, part-way up Mt. Bruce.

Sunday (Mother’sDay) : Down from the mountain, the electrician discovered a blown fuse. The fuse was replaced and immediately blew again. Further investigation found that the heating element in the hot water cylinder was shorting and needed replacement - we needed a plumber. The plumber was visiting his mother (it’s good for plumbers to visit their mothers on Mother’s Day - I’m not complaining).

Monday, the plumber arrived to drain the cylinder and fit the new element. The element and cylinder had been married for 36 years. Element and Cylinder did not want to be parted, and the cylinder died clinging on to the deceased body of its life-long friend. 

Removing the dead cylinder necessitated removing the door and frame to the cylinder cupboard - which had clearly been installed after the cylinder. Despite best efforts, the door frame did not come away cleanly and split in the process. By lunchtime, the cylinder was out and the plumber was waiting for the new cylinder to be delivered. 

Tuesday: The new cylinder arrived at lunchtime. The plumber came around to do the installation, which took about 2 hours. The electrician followed to connect up the electrics. There was no power on the circuit (there had been on Sunday) - we assumed that the lines company had activated the ripple control for load balancing (it had turned very cold that day), but we wouldn't be sure until later tonight or in the morning. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday: No hot water. The electrician ("oh, bugger") came and found a second blown fuse on the meter board. Five minutes later the water began heating, but too late for a shower that morning.

Thursday: We showered. It was blissful. And I realised how soft I had become. As a child, it was hands and face at the sink each night and a weekly dunk in the bath. That child had no idea what a shower was. But that same person, as an old man, found five days without a shower an inconvenience. 

I need to remind myself of the current ‘inconvenience’ experienced by those who lived in Mariupol. It’s all about perspective.