The gasman puts a hazard sticker on the boiler, and forbids me to use it. It seems that although he is a gasman, he isn’t a gasman of sufficient calibre to fix the boiler. I speak to the landlady and I can tell she isn’t keen about having to get a high-ranking gasman out, so I fetch my scarf and hat and prepare myself for what could be quite a long wait.
The lack of heating I can, with enough layers, cope with, but the lack of hot water soon becomes an issue. After three days of kettle assisted Businessman’s washes, I reach the point where I begin to catch whiffs of myself. Not good, so I head round to Tufnell Park Towers with an assortment of biscuits which I plan to exchange for use of their washing facilities.
Tufnell Park Towers has a much more homely feel to it nowadays. My replacement has installed a bar in the corner of the living room which we could never quite decide what to do with, so I suppose on that basis alone he is a more than worthy replacement. From my perspective, an equally exciting development was the sheer amount of shampoos in the bathroom; I had bought my own with me, but in the face of such choice (I counted nine) it would have felt rude not to indulge. I apply a squeeze of each, including my own, onto each fingertip.
I emerge from the bath, fuzzy of hair and no longer able to smell myself, and find myself on auto-pilot, heading to my old room. Fortunately, my replacement is spared a shock as I pause on the stairs and realise what I am doing. George the Cat looks at me and meows in confusion, and I sheepishly head back to the bathroom to get dressed.
5 weeks ago