Posted by: kathandroger | December 12, 2012

The Electrician 2

It’s 4.30am on the coldest night of the year. Fevered unrest  beside me in the bed, and a rapid exit. “Can you smell it?”-  “No I am trying to get some kip, what’s going on?” “You know I have got a good nose, and I can smell something burning, and the clock radio has gone off, and the bedside light as well, I tell you something is burning.” Now we use a strange electricity tariff at the moment which in effect means we get cheap rates in the summer-good for the gites-but on some days in the winter we pay hugely for electricity on certain days when it is cold such as last night. No heating was being used and it was taters in the mold. I was snuggled up all nice and warm and didn’t want to be bothered, but when the command comes in those well known tones I had to sally forth and look interested- eventually. “It’s coming from the attic, something is burning up there” The entrance to this attic is in the corner of the bathroom, needs a ladder to reach it, the cover sticks and is difficult to remove and replace, and I had been up there the previous week, with great difficulty, to fix some low voltage lighting which had gone out. To my surprise I had managed to do the job by re-wiring a transformer; perhaps my work was faulty and I had caused a small fire! So off I went, covered only by my threadbare dressing gown, on the coldest night of the year,outside, across the courtyard to the equipment store to find the right ladder. Cussing and stumbling over various lawnmowers I located the ladder and bashed my way back inside, upstairs to the worksite. I still couldn’t smell anything, but the trouble and strife has a “good nose” so she must be right. Cold, sleepy, family jewels swinging in the icy breeze which greeted me in the dark of the attic I met….Dennis! God knows how he got up there as there is no other way in other than the trap, but he did look a little cold and guilty as I retrieved him. I fearlessly traveled on in the doom and inspected my work on the transformer-all OK. Not the slightest sign of burning, only arctic weather freezing all my bits. I reported back to the Boss, grunted and went back to bed. Not good enough. After a few moments repose “I’m going to look for myself”. Further banging and feminine helpless noises, but eventual confirmation of my findings, and even the difficult hatch cover was replaced. “I’m still not happy” Neither was I, but I helpfully suggested she turned off the main electricity switch in the chaufferie-I wasn’t going to get out of bed again that’s for sure. Job done, but no sleep due to a restless wife and my coughing up fibreglass insulation for several hours.

We sorted it out in the morning. Dennis had been left in the back kitchen, must have climbed up the wiring portals to the roof where he got stuck. Earlier that evening he had been in the bathroom and had bashed a switch to the heated towel rail which had come on and as it was empty of water had shorted out-we can see the burn marks on the paint. So yes, the wife has a good nose and the cat has a charmed life, as there is no way I would have found him in the roof other than being ordered up there by she with the extraordinary olfactory organ. A quiet life in France!


  1. I’d have had kittens if I’d come across onew of our cats in a dark attic! Nerves of steel as well,eh?

  2. quel coquin ce dennis

    • Tu as bien fait pour comprendre mon anglais!

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