Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Boiler New

4th Sept 2017

I can't believe it's September already and the children  will be back at school this week . Where on earth did the summer go? 
It will soon be October and I hope to be part of the OctPoWriMo poem a day in October. Can't see how I'm going to fit it in just now , but deadlines are always good to get me going - and finishing. And I have done it before. But for now:

Something I wrote a while ago: 

The Boiler

Sighing, she hastily pulled her dressing gown round her, hurried from bathroom to bedroom and grabbed the phone.  It was the second time in as many months that the boiler had broken down.

“Mmmmm, you’ll be needing a new boiler,”   the plumber stood, screws in grubby hands, shook his head and took a sharp intake of breath.  His West Country accent, not local, was comforting and encouraging.
“ Can you not fix it one more time? I can’t really afford a new one,”  she pleaded hoping that she wouldn't have to fork out a large sum just now.

Left alone ten months ago after her husband of thirty five years died in an accident, Rachel felt vulnerable.
“No, mam, sorry, but I can do no more for this beast.  We've some good deals just now, though,” he wiped his hands on a cloth picked out of his tool box.
“Right, ah, ok...” she moaned  vaguely not wanting to deal with this now. She followed him downstairs putting an arm across her chest to hide the coffee stains, suddenly aware that her hair resembled a willow tree gone wild.

“Well, I’ll have to think about it,” she nudged him towards the door, knowing that she had to be out of the house in ten minutes. She'd have to leave this for later.

“ I could drop you in a brochure, if y’like..”
“Yes, do that, do that, thank you... ” slamming the door she ran upstairs. How on earth could she afford a new boiler, she thought, dressing anxiously, without washing. She brushed her hair, wondering who the woman was in the mirror looking back at her. How quickly the wrinkles multiply.  Briefly, she tried a false smile but that just confirmed that she had aged at least ten years in ten months.

The train for London, delayed by twenty minutes had standing room only.
“Due to over-capacity first class seating will be declassified.”  Rachel slouched in the gangway, gazing at fields, the monotone voice from the tannoy washing over her.
“First class seating is now available for all passengers,” the anonymous voice repeated.

She stood all the way to Victoria, deciding to walk, as usual, to the Evelina children’s hospital, part of St Thomas’s.  Although she had done this journey daily for months, she still found she needed that walking time to build herself up, increase her strength and bury, for the moment the poisonous guilt she felt.  After all, her daughter needed her. She had to be the pillar, she had to keep going through the muddy fog of ordinary. Yes, to visit was costing more money than she had, but what could she do? She had no choice.

Rachel stopped outside the door, drew herself up and took a deep breath before entering the room.
“Hi honey,” she hugged  her daughter. She  then bent over the bed to kiss her granddaughter, who was in a coma since that day when she and her granddad had decided to go shopping to  get a card for her grandmother’s birthday. 


  1. Despite the tragedy in Rachel's life, this is a really compelling read and so well written. The boiler certainly picked its moment to reach the end of the road, just as Rachel was facing a big family crisis. I do hope she found the funds to get some much needed warmth back into her life again.

    Wilfred Andrews @ LB Plumbing and Heating

  2. Thank you Wilfred. I had forgotten this little story written back in May... I love the way you say it is compelling and well written. Lovely to get your thoughts...


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