And today, I am fitting new downlights in my kitchen.
Oh, my back will bark at me, it will strain and complain and make me hear about it for the rest of the week, but we’re living and chopping in the half-light, and it’s just not safe.
The reason for our chopping in the dim, is that we had some insulation fitted into the attic space; a cavity that had, until that point, been covered with two inches of itchy fibreglass and large, weighty floorboards.
Suddenly and free of charge, it had to be cleared of all memory of the boards so that the men could come in, to fit several feet of insulation, which had the appearance of duck-fluff and the weight of a rugby team.
A government idea, it wouldn’t cost me a bean, and it should save me money on my heating bill, as well as doing something positive for the environment.
It all sounded very impressive.
I explained to the insulation fitters that I had recessed lighting in my kitchen and bathroom, and that these lights could not have insulation fitted directly on top of them. It was in the instructions, as well as my unmentioned training, that the downlights needed some space to breathe, otherwise they would overheat and die.
The chaps said they would be fitting “like, bowler hats” over the top of the lights.
I like to think, even without the training, I would understand the expression “fire hoods”, but okay – bowler hats.
And indeed, they fitted them, and then piled the insulation over the top of everything else, cloaking the beams in mystery, rendering the attic impassable, and suffocating the transformers – thereby, killing the downlights, one by one, over the ensuing weeks.
And there’s the rub: I have had to replace the lights, by clambering into an attic where there’s nowhere safe to put my feet, and where I can’t really kneel or lean without a risk of falling through the ceiling, and it has absolutely shattered my back.
To their credit, the fellas did pin a sign to a joist, advising any wandering workmen not to walk anywhere in the attic.
To compound the potential for possible injury, Aimée is working the evening shift at the shop and has taken the reliable torch for her walk back home.
Thus, I find myself, half-kneeling, half-swearing, in the disco light of a torch that needs a good whack to make it work for more than a few seconds, and sneezing at the fibreglass that lingers at eye level.
I will point out, here and now, dear reader, that Aimée has been put on antibiotics for the cold we’ve both been choking on for the last few weeks.
Normal service will resume shortly; I’m just feeling sorry for myself because I can’t treat my cold with brandy, like the good lord intended, as I am trying not to fall through the plasterboard while simultaneously cursing at junction boxes.
Fun times in the house of Binney.