It was £259 for the boiler. The boiler repair man turned up, nosed around a bit (mainly to make me feel better about the £259 I think) and then pressed a magic button on the underside of the unit. Everything immediately sprang into operation. It’s a great sound, the “wummpphhh!!” of gas re-igniting and the promise of effective radiators and hot water. Tempered by the cost of the resuscitation of course. I was left wishing I’d put more effort into solving the problem myself.
What stopped me spending the rest of the day sitting on the kitchen floor with my head in my hands was the knowledge that we were going to Devon for a few days around the bank holiday. It’s an annual jamboree with my wife’s parents and brother and his family.
The trip down was cold and grey until Somerset. Then suddenly there was warmth and teatime sunshine. As the clouds rolled away in clotted cream heaps, a plane dived high above the hills ahead of us like a shooting star. Finally we reached Devon and the winding gravelled road to the farm and neighbouring cottages.
Near our cottage is the computer room, where I sit at one of those all-in-one-seat-and-picnic-table constructions. Next to a playground containing no fewer than 4 trampolines (it’s a new playground trend). Outside the trees are rattling urgently in the wind, sounding like waves breaking onto a sandy coastline, or a band of zealous tambourine players. Sunlight filters through the leaves, creating a kaleidoscope. We knew it would be sunny, as my mother in law had confidently announced that morning. “If there is enough blue to make a sailor’s trousers, it will be a sunny day”. The row of trees means I can’t see the girls bouncing high and elegantly on the trampolines behind them. They are screaming so loudly I am almost tempted to go round there and see if they are alright.
My daughter is so happy with her beloved cousins and it is reciprocated. “I love you” she calls happily towards the younger one as she moves nearly out of earshot. ”I love yoouuu…” the answer comes floating back on a warm gust.