OK, the Hatton Gardens heist it ain’t… but we did get an idea these last two days what it takes to fit a new boiler flue into a cottage with two-foot thick stone walls.
The plumbers were particularly unimpressed by the way the installer of the previous boiler had chosen to drill a pipe right through the centre of one of the stones, rather than go through the gaps between them, forcing them to remove a substantial chunk out of the side of the house to replace it.
But now, after two days of banging noises and a kitchen turned upside down, we have a shiny new boiler which, as I discovered this evening, sends rather alarming clouds of water vapour drifting past the sitting room window when it’s running (I was alone in the house and I just caught the movement out of the corner of my eye).
No chance to stay home and enjoy it, sadly, as the Brompton and I will off again tomorrow, heading to York for this, where I will be chairing a round table (I don’t get to dress up as a knight, disappointingly) on teenage girls and cycling, a topic for which my sole qualification is that I once was a teenage girl who cycled, albeit a terrifyingly long time ago. However, having talked to a few of them by way of research, I have discovered that mainly teenage girls don’t cycle for the same reason most people don’t cycle: because the roads are scary (and, yes, helmets are uncool). And hence the answer is more of this, which will require me doing more of this.
Bet you can’t wait