The gas man cometh

PUBLISHED: 19:55 02 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:48 11 May 2010

It was on the Monday morning that the gas man came to call. Really, it was, quite literally, on Monday. We were set to have a new boiler installed as the one that had been there for years was deemed to have seen its best years. That may have been right.

It was on the Monday morning that the gas man came to call.

Really, it was, quite literally, on Monday.

We were set to have a new boiler installed as the one that had been there for years was deemed to have seen its best years.

That may have been right.

All right, it was probably a model which was developed when the original patent was allowed, and may look like something that dropped out the sky in the Second World War, but it worked.

Well, at least sometimes.

But, as usual, with all these operations, it's not as straightforward as expected.

First, a huge space had to be cleared so the new boiler could sit proudly on display before being condemned to a life in a cupboard.

Then there were the various pipes and gadgets to be attached to the radiators. And a pile of cardboard boxes containing more equipment.

In the end, the room had the appearance of a boiler sales room.

But no matter.

The equipment had been delivered and the men arrived to carry-out the installation of our state-of-the art boiler replacing the one which, really, was state-of-the-ark.

Then, obviously, comes a problem.

In spite of the piles of bits and pieces littering the floor, there was not a pump. This, so I am told, was essential to the whole operation.

It's always the way, isn't it?

Fortunately, it wasn't a cold night, so having no heating whatsoever didn't matter.

And come the next day, the men returned holding a pump, and within hours the whole system was up-and-running.

Of course, it had to be tested, or in other words, we had to turn on the system.

So on one of the hottest days of the year, we had every radiator working to a level which would have been satisfactory to the keeper of tropical plants at Kew Gardens.

All we need now is a winter of Arctic conditions to see whether all the work was worthwhile.

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