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Sunday chores up a ladder

Far from being a day of rest, Sunday is my day for doing the chores around the house. The usual sort of thing – changing the bedclothes, doing the laundry, putting the bins out ready for bin-day on Monday, paying bills, and generally keeping on top of household things that need sorting out. Which this Sunday meant replacing the bulb in one of the outside lights, which blew during the week.The nights are drawing in so much now, that it’s been dark by the time I get home, and if I have to head off to our Hampshire HQ (a weekly occurrence at the moment) then it’s dark when I leave in the mornings too, so it was inconvenient not being able to light up the path.

The bulb was one of those long-life low-wattage ones, and was several years old. I’ve never had to change it before – the last time it blew, Chris was still alive and well and changed it himself without any bother. I found it rather more of a challenge. For a start, I’m significantly shorter than he was, and I couldn’t reach the light fitting by standing on a chair, so I had to get the step-ladder out. And even then, with no one to hold it steady, I couldn’t safely get it close enough to the side of the house to easily reach the light. I ended up with one foot on the top of the step-ladder and the other on the windowsill – rather precarious!  Then I found that the nuts that hold the glass lamp-cover in place had (a) rusted and (b) been painted over by my decorator since the bulb was last changed, so altogether they were thoroughly seized in place.  That meant I needed to rootle around in Christopher’s tool-box for an adjustable spanner, then climb back up the ladder, balance on the windowsill, and try to apply enough torque to loosen the nuts. Having done that, I changed the bulb, checked that it worked, and then tried to reassemble the light fitting. I needed at least one more pair of hands than I had! I wasn’t able to do the fittings up as tightly as I should like, so I’m not entirely convinced the housing is still water-tight, but I did the best I could. Next time it blows I think I’ll have ask the window-cleaner to change it, even if I have to slip him an extra fiver – some things are well worth paying someone else to do!