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Back to reality – and dodgy electrics

The holiday was very enjoyable. However, coming back home meant facing up to some house maintenance issues I’d been putting off. The week before Christmas, the light in the hall failed. I thought at first it was just a blown bulb, so went to replace it. That was in itself quite tricky – the hall ceiling is quite high and even standing on chair I’m not tall enough to reach the bulb. I got out the step-ladder, balanced on it somewhat precariously, changed the bulb and, hey presto, absolutely nothing happened. I went back up the ladder, removed the new bulb, and tried it in my bedside lamp – the bulb worked fine there. So clearly there was something more significant wrong with either the light fitting or the wiring. 

I didn’t have time to do anything about it before Christmas – I was very busy at work, and anyway wasn’t prepared to spend the money to call out an emergency electrician. But once I got back home after the holiday, I really couldn’t ignore the problem any longer. I really didn’t want to try to fix it myself – I might be an engineer by training, but I have a healthy respect for both ladders and electricity, and in my opinion they don’t mix! So I called my now all-too-regular electrician, stressing that it wasn’t an emergency, but that I needed my hall light back working. He popped round and diagnosed a broken light fitting, which he was able to replace fairly quickly, and only charged me £30 for call-out, parts and labour. That’s not too bad – and at least I now have some reasonable illumination to come home to in these long dark evenings.

The next, and rather more expensive, problem to be fixed is my electric hob. One of the rings stopped working before Christmas, and Sod’s Law, it’s the most useful one. I’m not even sure that it’s possible to replace the element in a halogen hob – it all seems to be embedded into the ceramic stove-top. So that might well mean a whole new hob unit. I’m still too busy at work to be able to put the time aside to get it investigated and fixed/replaced, but it will have to be done sooner or later……