So it’s finally happened!
For many a long year – sixteen I think - our gas boiler has performed impeccably, with hardly a complaining murmur. It’s supported us through thick and thin - mostly thick, if the truth was known - and kept us warm throughout the coldest of nights and supplied us with a perfectly acceptable supply of hot water.
I’m trying to avoid any element of emotion here but ‘Boilly’ seems to be entering into a period of decline. Don’t think I’m stupid. Do you really think we’d be daft enough to call our boiler ‘Boilly? Give me more credit than that. We actually call our boiler Edward!
There’s no doubt about it however, that our time-worn friend is rapidly facing a journey to that old re-cycling centre in the sky, and even at this very moment seems to be suffering with a high temperature and poor circulation.
This occurrence has been my deepest dread; and that’s the problem. We now live a highly complicated existence where the word simple is reserved to describe those who find it difficult to navigate through today’s world. I’m afraid that nothing is allowed to be easy any more.
Anyway, the upshot of all of this is that I’m going to have to buy a new boiler, but which way to go? This resulted in a heated discussion. There are so many options available, but alas we are well past the time when we can just merely say: “I’ll have the same as before but just more modern.” Gas boilers will be phased out in due course, but should I buy a new gas boiler in the meantime?
‘I know’ I thought, ‘I’ll ask the nice service engineer who is due to visit us in a few weeks’ time’. His verdict: On its last legs! I made sure that he wasn’t looking at me when he made this pronouncement. I asked for his advice in terms of replacement. I won’t give you the chapter and verse of his reply but it can be summed up by articulating that nobody seems to have the faintest idea as to what might constitute anything like a definitive answer.
Oh, and in this morning’s newspaper there was a two page article relating to this very subject and evaluating ten (yes ten) different options and their comparative costs.
If we remove all of the ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ we are still left with an inability to point one in the right direction.
I’ve had my car now for about eight years, I’ve never really been a person who was ever turned on by motor vehicles. I’ve never seen them as a status symbol, but purely as a utilitarian item in my life. Anyway, the time has come when I really have to purchase a new replacement vehicle; my existing vehicle being in need of a paramedic!
The problem is that I now have to answer the question: Do I need to get an electric vehicle or should I persevere with a vehicle which has a diesel engine? Does this all sound familiar? I’m back to that same old question of which way to jump. I’m in the horns of a dilemma. I’m faced with additional expense. I really have to make a decision and in both cases I’m left with the distinct impression that I’m becoming somewhat of a guinea pig.
It’s most unfortunate that everything seems to be wearing out at a time when we seem to be in a kind of a limbo. I’m not even really sure that anybody has the first idea as to where this will all end.
Electric cars seem to be the answer, although by the time we’ve all mortgaged our lifestyle in order to buy one - having convinced ourselves that we won’t spend our lives searching for a place to plug it in or won’t drive through the back of the garage because we didn’t realise that the engine was still running - we will probably have perfected a hydrogen driven engine which will be both more economical and environmentally friendly. This happened with diesel engines, which were highly recommended by the government of the time, but in due course became frowned upon; with the current threat of owners being burned at the stake. And talking about steak (poetic licence!), even the act of buying a Sunday roast is fraught with retribution. Cows are under attack from the environmentalists because of their gaseous habits - my late Grandfather seemed to escape this opprobrium - so should I buy a joint of prime roast beef for the weekend or should I buy a nice piece of Quorn? Decisions, decisions.
(Thinks): Have we got plenty of horseradish sauce in the house?