We have the power!

We hadn't been in the house long before we realised that there was a surfeit of electrical extension leads everywhere; the four-way or six-way ones which often come in useful when you want to plug in several electric items but find yourself with only one socket. These days, the need for places to plug in, charge up and access all sorts of electric appliances seems never to be satisfied and even in our twenty year old previous house, we never had quite enough. However, although back in the sixties, we were perfectly satisfied with a mere handful of sockets, fast forward to present day and that is no longer the case, not by a long chalk.
But still the full picture had not dawned on us. We rang an electrician and asked him to come and quote for installing more sockets.
He came, took one look at the consumer unit under the stairs and then there was a sharp intake of breath.
"Can't do that, I'm afraid, there's no earth suitable for the RDC trip here" - or words to that effect. As I wasn't even sure what a consumer unit was, he might as well have been speaking Russian.
It soon became clear though, that although the wiring was not actually dangerous, a re-wire was definitely needed.
A brief tour round the house followed to document what we wanted and what was needed.
You may be familiar with the story of a tourist asking a local for directions somewhere in Ireland.
"Well if I were you," the local man said, "I wouldn't start from here."
A variation of this followed in subsequent conversations with the electrician.
"If you had come to me before you moved in, I would have advised you to get the re-wiring done beforehand."   Well, hindsight is a wonderful thing, but we are where we are, I thought.
But there was more.
Ideally we'd like you to move out and store your furniture somewhere while we do the work.
Bearing in mind the fact that I had just spent weeks packing and hadn't even finished unpacking here, I think my reply was reasonably polite and measured. It was along the lines of  'not a chance in hell, mate!'
There followed at least three conversations via text in which the electrician did his best to persuade us. His start date moved back a month and the quote increased by £1000 'because of all the extra time it will take us' and, to cut a long story a little shorter, we said good-bye to him and found ourselves someone else who doesn't need us to clear the house and can start at the end of this month.
In the meantime - don't trip over those extension leads ...!

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