Of Snow, Flu, Undertakers, Stiffs, Astronauts, DIY and Electricians


Saturday January 14 0700h

It’s trying to snow, great thick flakes falling like porridge, but it’s not lying. Welcome to winter. I shuffle round the kitchen in my mechanic breakfast ritual – making coffee and sorting through the rest of the week’s bread trying to find a piece of baguette that isn’t so hard that it will break my teeth – I switch on the radio

News – We are at the peak of the winter flu virus. French hospitals can’t cope under the seasonal strain – accident and emergency departments are almost at crisis point . Any staff on leave have been called back … sounds like the UK.

A thought for the nation’s undertakers who are also battling to cope with the rise in seasonal deaths from the flu epidemic – a staggering 34% more stiffs than usual. Instead of the standard two days, many families are having to wait almost four days before they can lay their loved ones to rest. Four days !!! Back in 2010, I had to wait 2 weeks in London before the local undertaker could find a « slot » for my mum’s funeral.

Still dark outside. Have to switch on an extra light – of couse it is the light with the « dangerous » switch. I’ve got quite a few electrical issues round the house at the moment. I’ve spent all week trying to get hold of an electrician – same story as the undertakers, they can’t cope – seems with the bad weather everyone suddenly wants an electrician (still trying to work that one out.)

More news – the French astronaut on the International Space Station made his first six hour space walk – along with other crew members, he replaced old batteries on the space station and repaired « electrical devices » on the outside of that station.

Seems odd that there’s no problem getting electical repairs done in space, but down here on Earth, I can’t get an electrician.

I suppose there are electrical solutions.

DIY – No way I can or will do it myself. I am to totally DIY incapable. The simplest of home improvement tasks is beyond me. I admire those other males of the species who can string up light fittings or put in plug points. It must be wonderful to have such skills. I can’t even put up a shelf – even the simplest Ikea model.

I listen in admiration as work colleagues  tell me how they have seemingly built their houses almost single-handed.

“What are you doing this weekend?” I ask one colleague at the Friday morning coffee break

“Oh, I’ve just started re-wiring the house.”

WOW!! If I did anything electrical, if I wasn’t actually electrocuted, I’f probably, at best, have everything blow up in my face or at worst,  burn the house down.

No folks, I’m a DIY dunce. I’l call a pro – that’s what they are their for. At the moment though, I’d probably have more success finding an astronaut