It hasn't been a great Half-Term 'break' thus far. Imagine if you will how Ebenezer Scrooge looked in his dank shell of an office, huddled over his accounts books, quill in fingerless-gloved hand, an icicle hanging of the end of his chilly nose and you won't be far off the picture of me right now. At least the screen's giving off a nice glow and making me feel slightly warmer (in the face anyway).
In what must be the coldest week since the 'snow days' of last month, our boiler has stopped working. If you'd driven past our house this week you could be forgiven for thinking we're either away on holiday and pretending there's someone home - with remote-car-in-drive-timer-delay - or else we've forgotten to pay our electricity bill. It's dark and the reason it's dark is because all the curtains are drawn in the hope that what little heat we manage to create inside, stays inside and doesn't escape out the windows (NOBODY tell me this is a scientific miscalculation. Not now. Not unless they want their virtual heads ripped off and thrown on the fire anyway).
Yes, we have a fire. But of course we've run out of fuel. Of course we have - that was going to happen, wasn't it? In a world controlled by Sod's Law of course it was.
Just as my handbag was going to fall into a (quite deepish) puddle this morning as I tried to get back into the car forgetting to deflate the umbrella and causing a bit of a personal commotion.
And just as my clean-on jeans are now soaked wet up to the knees due to having to run the whole length of the (not short) garden to the shed at the bottom of it where lives the tumble dryer - in three inch grass and flares to shame Shaggy. Multiply this soggy olympic event by four and you have a week's worth of washing (nearly) done.
And just as when I finally get to the plumbing shop to pick up a replacement boiler part (after having spent three days in discussions with plumber/supplier/technical support/plumber/supplier... you get the picture) to have the young man on the desk tell me he's just given it to someone else who put an online order in for it earlier...all perfectly understandable. Living in the house where Sod rules.
So we are still 'living' upstairs, the Girl and I. Where we have an electric fan rotating gently on the landing, ensuring all doorways are nice and lukewarm for entry but no further into the rooms. We are wearing enough layers to become the human equivalent of a filo-pastried tart. And its' very difficult to type with cold cramps.
At least that's the excuse I've given myself for lack of wordage and lack of inspiration. How can I be expected to create a world of fiction when all I want to do is sit with my hands cupped round a mug of tea constantly like an advert for Ovaltine?
And the scary thing is that to make a cup of anything hot, you have to go downstairs. The kitchen's *downstairs* - in that incredibly scary place where there's NO heat whatsoever, aside from the slight breath from the cats as they're balled up, their tails over their noses, waiting for normality to resume. And if anybody seriously wants to be warmed up from the breath of one of our cats, then a one-way ticket to Insanity is waiting for them.
Although I bet it would turn out to be invalid.
That's just the way this week is panning out.