I am still in my dressing gown when the doorbell rings.
The children have all gone to school and hubby has just left for work.
My blog calls. I need to see my comments.
I have a cup of tea in my hand. I am just engrossed in reading what people think about my Piers Brosnan lookalike doctor...
I answer the door.
"Oh, I am so sorry. I forgot.
Can you give me ten minutes?"
"No problem, they say." Realising that this is a large job, worth a lot of money, they are prepared to give me time to compose myself and at least clear the kitchen.
I throw myself into the dishwasher and throw the cereal bowls into the bath - or something - do a whistle stop tour of my make up bag and throw a cloth around the work surfaces in a wand like fashion.
The rest of the house still looks like a bomb site, but at least I can invite them into the kitchen.
Enter Mr. Gas Man one and Mr. Gas Man two.
I make coffee and try to look hospitable.
Of course, as we are talking about a new boiler, which means assessing all the radiators, they want to see the whole house. So we walk past very untidy piles on the stairs, very full washing baskets, many untidy piles of clean washing, into bedrooms with unmade beds. Well, some beds are made. Thankfully I seem to have a Pavlovian instinct to always make my own bed first thing as I get out of it, and by chance I made Tinkerbell Mushroom and Gymnast's when I woke them this morning.
Up to the top floor, to the teenage area. I am met with my worst nightmare. Towels and dirty washing on the floor, and rooms that look as if they have been ransacked by burglars. ED, who is still on study leave having just finished her AS levels is still asleep. ESOS's room is just too smelly to mention and even Sensible's room looks bad. Very bad.
"No you can't go into that room" I say, "my daughter is in there", steering them away from ED's room.
Is the loo flushed I wonder? Slip into the bathroom, quickly pick up four or five towels from the floor, flush the loo and close the lid.
Why do I prefer blogging to cleaning I moan to myself? When people come to the house I want it clean and perfect.
Although of course perfect is a relative term. When you need to spend vast sums of money on said house to make it come up to the standard of early 20th century modernisation, let alone early 21st century, it does leave much to be desired, even when at its cleanest.
We go downstairs. More coffee. I note to myself that despite being an addicted tea drinker, I drink too much coffee when other people are present.
They play computers for the next hour and a half and look at the cellar.
We need to relocate the boiler, because where it currently sits is now not legal. The cellar appears to be the obvious place.
Only thing is, that in order to place a flue on the exterior of the building, we need planning permission. And listed buildings consent.
"What happens if they deny it", I ask?
"There's nothing we can do. You will have to have electric heating."
So, let me get this right. The Government have decreed that all houses must be more efficient. But, to have efficiency we must move boilers to more efficient locations. If the Government department locally however says that the placing of your new boiler makes your building look ugly, then so be it, you can't have a new boiler there. You can't have it in its old place, because that is illegally inefficient, and so you are left with even more inefficient electric heating and hot water...
Gas Man one looks at me. "Are you over sixty by any chance?"
"Do I look over sixty" I ask.
"No, I just have to ask, because if you were, you would be eligible for a grant, and sometimes we are quite surprised by people's ages."
"I'm not over sixty." I reply.
"Would you like me to prepare the quote in Hubby's name?" He asks
"Why?" I say
"Because you will have to give me your date of birth if it's in your name."
"I don't mind giving you my date of birth." I say.
He's clearly convinced that I am hiding the fact that I surely must be over sixty. I mean, I do realise that I am no longer in my fist second or even third flush of youth, but I still have quite a few years to go before I become a silver surfer.
The quote to do our massive system is huge. Too huge for now.
What's more, placed on a finance system it would cost more than double that huge cost over ten years. In fact over one hundred and twenty months, you could probably buy forty thousand mars bars, and even more creme eggs Enidd will be pleased to know, with the amount that it will cost. Am thinking quickly as to how I can do 20,000 mars bars worth of voice overs or writing between now and September.
"That's a lot of money." I say. "We will have to have a bit of a think about it," say I, making the understatement of the year.
So you don't want to sign up today then?
I look at him. There is a hint of amusement in his eyes I am relieved to see.
No thanks. I say.
Just then I see a small mouse appear in a hole by the old boiler in the kitchen, just near the cat bowl. First evidence of rodents for months. The pacifist cat, who obviously thinks that he should be retired, has clearly allowed said animal to share his food, instead of pouncing on him. I quickly bang a chair into place so that my two guests don't catch sight of it, and make a mental note to deal with unwanted animal guest later on.
It scurries back into its hole.
I thank my other guests for the very large quote and wish them a good day.
Thank goodness it's still summer.
p.s. I now have my birthday photo back. As you can see, I don't look a day over sixty five.
p.p.s. Subsequently spent the afternoon having a serious clean and tidy up. House looks great. British Gas would be delighted. But we've now lost the dog's lead....