Tuesday, April 05, 2005

PSA (Bad Day)

Apparently our electricity meter needs replacement. So we were told anyway, and the well-known engineering company that does this OBO the electricity company agreed to an appointment on Saturday, between 8am and 1pm. Now, I'm not a huge fan of vague appointments, but I can understand that there are good practical reasons why they can't be precise. And my boss's husband is a window fitter, so I have some idea of how annoying it is for people on the other end to turn up and find no householder. We sat there for the five hours, with me taking a torch into the bathroom just in case they had to turn the power off while I was in there. I even resisted the lure of the Net for most of the morning to minimise the number of things that would need switching off.

1pm came and went, and no engineer appeared. We were, it's fair to say, less than happy about this because it always seemed to be an unspoken part of the bargain that the less specific the appointment, the less right they have to miss it. We did consider calling to complain but, of course, they wouldn't pay anyone to give up their Saturday and answer the phone. Eventually, we decided to take advantage of what good weather remained and take our recycling out, since Harrow Council, in their infinite wisdom, won't collect it from flats. We knew the bottle banks had been moved to a new (and better) location, but what they'd neglected to tell us was that the paper bank hadn't gone with them. Still, it's not all bad news - according to
their website, they plan to try out a scheme using lockers in Autumn 2004, presumably to avoid the spectre of empty-peanut-butter-jar-theft.

There was one upside though. The new home for the bottle banks is in a car park we'd never previously had cause to visit. Happily, it turned out to have a path through an Open Space. There was nothing all that remarkable about the path itself, which led us behind houses in the approximate direction of Pinner, but it was away from the main road, and I always enjoy the experience of taking a road I've never seen before in a place I know well. I'm by no means a hiker - not even an urban one - but it was fun to reach a familiar destination by a route I didn't know existed. For all its faults, I'm proud of this borough's greenery.


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