December 12th

These blog posts are thinning out to say the least, partly because I'm busy, and partly because I've already said a lot of things I wanted to. Which is better, repeating yourself endlessly, or staying silent once you've said your piece?

Quote of the Week

  • "This house has been far out at sea all night, |The woods crashing through darkness, the booming hills, |Winds stampeding the fields under the window |Floundering black astride and blinding wet |Till day rose; then under an orange sky |The hills had new places, and wind wielded |Blade-light, luminous black and emerald, |Flexing like the lens of a mad eye." - Ted Hughes, Wind

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Light bulbs, bayonets and other such stuff (Watt!)

I am now sitting in my living room in darkness, making a ridiculous number of typos as I can't see the keys on my laptop - I fumble especially with the apostrophe, so apologies if I type "it;s" instead of "it's". Three lights are on - in the kitchen, stairs, and my housemate's room, along with some very faint light from my laptop, and the television. I can also see an even more faint emergency light from my neighbour's kitchen. But the light in the living room, in which I am currently blogging, is not on, which is why all this mucking about is happening in the first place.

The reason the aforementioned light is not on is not because the light bulb had blown, but rather because I thought the light bulb had blown. No, this is a significantly longer and more complicated series of events than I would ever have thought could occur from a mistake about a light bulb, so please bear with me.

It is about 6pm (actually SEVEN, but my finger keeps hitting the 6 key instead so I have given up trying to tell you all that it was instead SEVEN. Anyway who cares, poetic license and all that, all you need to know is that it is getting too dark to read). As I am, incidentally, just about to pick up a book, I turn the light on, upon which I heard a small "pop", and the light stays quite certainly off. I think it must have blown (seriously, who would ever think a fuse would trip because a light was switched on?), and curse my luck as I can't be bothered to go all the way to the superstore that I had just returned from carrying 10kg of groceries. The next logical step is to find a replacement, so I go upstairs to my room where I keep the spare light bulbs (100 watt, which I knew the one in the living room was), and bring one down. Steadying myself on a rickety chair, I hope to God that I hadn't gained as much weight as I know I had, take out the blown light bulb, and put the replacement bulb in.

Unfortunately at this point I realise that the replacement doesn't actually fit the socket. The original one is one of those old, 100-watt, bayonet-capped lights which they really should have stopped producing when they figured out how to manufacture a 100-watt screw-capped light bulb. My replacement, unfortunately, is a 100-watt screw-capped light bulb. No matter. I descend with relief from the rickety wooden chair, put both bulbs on the table, and stomp upstairs to collect another replacement.

After some rummaging around in my plastic bag of extra light bulbs, I am forced to conclude that I do not have a bayonet-capped light after all, and that my 4 to 6 (SEVEN!) spare light bulbs are for all intents and purposes, useless. I have no choice but to go out and buy one. I put my coat on, walk out into the cold with the original bayonet-capped light bulb, and throw it into our bin. It makes a satisfying shattering noise, and I head to the local store where light bulbs are more expensive, but decidedly nearer, than at the superstore, which is at least 20 minutes away.

I spend the next 20 minutes wandering around the local shop trying to find a light bulb before realising that they don't sell them here.

With great consternation, I go to the next shop, and the next, until about half an hour from where I started off, I find a shop that sells 100-watt bayonet-capped light bulbs (I ask the shopkeeper if I could look at them to make sure), and buy three, just in case two of them don;t (apostrophy!) work. Happily, I head back knowing that I am sorted.

Unfortunately, this isn't to be. As I steady myself on the rickety chair for the second time today, I realise that I had bought a 100-watt, bayonet-capped lightbulb that in't the right size for the light. By this time, it is well and truly night. I extricate myself again from atop the rickety chair, and walk into my housemate's room to turn his light on. It doesn't respond either. At this I get very annoyed, because light bulbs, unlike workers, do not tend to strike; and now I am stranded in my house in general darkness.

I stomp off grumpily into the kitchen to make myself some tea, the same way the English do if they don't have a spare light bulb, or if their favourite TV show isn't on, or if Britain is once again invaded by the Nazis or anything else happens to which the English don't really know how to react. I turn the kitchen light on. It doen't turn on. It begins to dawn on me that the fuse must have been tripped. But then, the television is on! So is the laptop, which I had taken the battery out of because it doesn't work.

In great consternation, I make my way gingerly into my housemate's room, trying not to stumble on anything unfamiliar that I cannot see, to the fuse box. Using my phone, I find the fuse-box and four sub-fuses. One (downstairs front) has tripped, leaving me berefit of all downstairs lighting while simultaneously allowing Virgin TV to atack my senses with the worst advertisements known to man.

I fix the fuse and the lights go on - except of course, the light in the living room whose bulb I had thrown into the bin outside our house. I think about going to the shop again and asking the same shopkeeper for more light bulbs because I had bought the wrong size, even after checking that they were the right bulbs. The potential embarrasment is too great for me to bear. I decide to go to the superstore tomorrow, read in my bedroom for the time being, and forever avoid the electrical shop from which I had bought three useless light bulbs.

I hate tripped fuses.