Yay me!

Today, I found out that I passed the exam I took two weeks ago. The exam that I took two weeks ago whilst struggling with the tale end of flu / virus that had completely wiped me out. I can’t say how pleased I am not to have to resit it. Hooray! And hooray again!


Where’s my brain today?

So, it really would be rather marvellous if I were not such a raving idiot at times. Okay, okay – blame the hangover (AND it’s my first in WEEKS) (perhaps not such a marvellous achievement, thinking about it) but today I’m scratching my head in acute puzzlement.

Here’s the story: I send my camera off for repair. Camera gets repaired and sent back. Of course, things never happen quite that simply, so here’s what REALLY happened: I send my camera off for repair. After a few weeks I’ve not heard anything. I chase. Nothing. Chase again. Not a lot. I phone. Get told that camera is waiting for a spare part and they don’t have an ETA for spare part. Fine. Get email almost immediately saying same thing. Next day, get a similar but extended email saying they don’t know when the spare parts will be available from the supplier, never happened before, will be kept informed bla bla bla. Fine.

TWO HOURS LATER, I get an email saying camera is now ready for return, could I please phone to arrange payment. Suspicious, yes? Yes, that’s what I thought too. So I emailed to ask what the story is and whether the camera really is ready – and tested – only two hours after it was waiting on errant spare parts. The reply email confirmed it was indeed all ready, and all tested, and could I make payment. So I did, and got the camera back, which I only tested very quickly and put to one side ready for our holiday.

That was over two weeks ago. Today – THE DAY BEFORE OUR HOLIDAY – I get a voicemail saying they’ve actually sent me someone else’s camera and could I phone to arrange the return of it. They will then return mine, which they are trying to get back from the other customer. Great stuff. Oh, you can imagine just how pleased I was with this. But I phone and I’m nice and, to be honest, the camera repair company (which is clearly a tiny outfit) hadn’t really thought this all through and didn’t expect me to say ‘but I’m on holiday. From tomorrow. With the camera. And, no, I’m not prepared to be without it for up to a week. The same week in which my holiday happens to be positioned’. No, indeed.

In fact, the camera repair company kept pointing out, somewhat weakly, that the other customer wasn’t going to be very happy but did at least drop this argument when I pointed out that I wasn’t very happy either, and why did they think the other customer’s happiness was more valuable than mine. So, there we are. I sent the man away to come up with more solutions (I was in a departmental off-site day and had to get back as the session was starting). So the man did go away, and came back with a slightly more palatable approach.

So, why am I a raving idiot? It’s this: I need to send the camera via UPS (with a prepaid label) and, for the life of me, I can’t work out how to do this. They ‘will’ come and pick it up, apparently, but I’m not happy to lose a day of my holiday waiting in for a UPS collection. Aha, think I. There is no problem here. I will google UPS and see whether they have a local depot. And I do this, and find lots of UPS collection points. And here’s the raving idiot bit: does collection mean that the company is collecting a parcel that I’m sending, or is it for me to collect a parcel that someone else has set? I have absolutely no idea. And I’m mildly losing the will to live. I’ll package it up, ready, and think about it when I have more than a single functioning brain cell.

I may be waiting quite a while for that…


The joy of being married to a plumber

There are not too many advantages to being married to a plumber. There’s not too many disadvantages, either, to be fair – but there are not many times that I find cause to say ‘Wow, brilliant!! I’m married to a plumber! How great is that?’. The ability to be able to take the van to Ikea and actually fit stuff in it, and the fact that I can explain the solution to a frozen condensate pipe to friends bemoaning the sudden break down of their heating when the temperature dips beneath 0. But that’s normally about it.

But, today, I am completely glad I’m married to a plumber. Because I broke the heating. Whoops! Not the best move on a coldish Saturday in March, but there we are. You see, it was all working perfectly and yet, in my wisdom, I decided it needed improving. We have (or, at least, had) a portable, wireless room thermostat that allows you to set different temperatures for different times of the day. This is much better, in my view, than a simple ‘on / off’ and it’s worked pretty well. But – and in my view, it’s a big but – there were six temperature slots. And, because we’re out at work all day, we don’t need six. We need one temperature in the morning, one when we’re at work, one when we’re home in the evening, and one overnight one. So, four slots. We did a workaround by setting some consecutive slots to have the same temperature but that didn’t work well when we’d manually overridden the setting because we were at home at the weekend – at the slot boundary it would go back to the previous temperature and we’d have to override it again.

So, I googled, found the instruction manual and discovered you can set it to have only four slots. Brilliant, thought I. Just what I need. So, I followed the instructions, got a bit confused, couldn’t work it out, pressed a few buttons – and the whole thing froze. I took the batteries out, I pressed reset, I did everything I could think of, but it was frozen. And, after a while, it became unfrozen, but the temperature read 22 degrees. Now, anyone who has ever visited my house will know it is NEVER 22 degrees, and today was no exception. It had been 19 at the most. But because it thought it was 22 degrees, it was sending this info to the boiler, which then didn’t come on, and the temperature in the house was just steadily dropping. And, believe me, the weather at the moment is not the weather that you want to have no heating.

Anyway, M came home and took this in rather good humour, I thought. And he set about swapping things in and out, and worked out finally that the whole wireless thermostat was, to quote his term, buggered. And he replaced it with a more basic one he happened to have in the van.

So, now, we DO only have on / off heating. But we have heat! Yay for being married to a plumber!