Why I’m grateful my boiler broke down, seriously

Four days ago my boiler broke down.  I have to admit, I cried.  Thoughts of the cost to repair it, the impracticality of it happening right now, and the inconvenience of having no hot water in the house set me off.  But let me rewind a bit and put the whole thing in context.


I had planned to spend that particular day doing DIY around the house.  There I was in my ‘work’ clothes, drill battery charged and ready to be depleted, mirrors and photos ready to be mounted onto various walls.  I was in ‘the zone’.  Then my eldest told me the shower wasn’t working.  Oh crap!  I checked the hot water, and sure enough, there wasn’t any.


Now, I think I’m a pretty resourceful person, so as usual, I googled troubleshooting my boiler.  I Youtube’d it.  I  tinkered about with the boiler, even though I knew absolutely nothing about how to set about fixing it, all to no avail.  Nothing happened.  At all.  I sat in the loft next to my boiler, and felt the tears brimming.  I have to admit, I indulged myself for a moment and thought about the challenge I faced in now having to find someone to have a look at it and how I was going to be able to afford to potentially pay for a new one.


Then my logical brain kicked in and simultaneously kicked my butt.  I realised that my washing machine still worked, so the girls wouldn’t have to creatively wear pants 3 different ways over 3 days to make the clean washing last, and that at least it wasn’t winter when the need for the hot water and heating was greatest.  I thought about how we could heat water with the kettle to wash the old fashioned way, and immediately that brought about a memory of being a little girl, standing in the metal wash tub in my great-aunt’s house in Larnaca (Cyprus) while my mum poured warm water over me from a jug. It was an old house with no running water at the time so this is how we all bathed. That was a fond and entertaining memory of a beautiful childhood summer spent in my happy place, and suddenly the idea of standing in my own bath-tub with a jug for a few days made me laugh.  I reminded myself once again that perspective is everything and that in the grand scheme of things, I would be able to sort out everything.  I decided to just go with it and actually enjoy the experience from the point of view that this is indeed a first-world problem, and that I am truly extremely blessed in all I have.


So here we are, four days on, getting closer to finding an engineer and having hot running water.  I have to admit I have found this situation quite liberating through the discovery that my life will not descend into anarchy and the world will not end.  No, my greatest challenge right now is actually getting the girls to find the same beauty in this temporary situation as I have.  My eldest has decided on cold showers, as apparently they are ‘beneficial for your health’ (whatever floats your boat, but you wouldn’t catch me doing that!), whilst my youngest seems to have set herself the challenge of only washing when absolutely necessary.  Clearly our definitions of ‘absolutely necessary’ differ wildly.

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