What a frustrating day. The British Gas engineer turned up to fit a smart meter to our gas supply, did the preliminary checks then turned the electricity off so that he could fit the smart meter to the system.
When he began to take the electricity supply boxes apart he discovered that the interior of one was scorched and hot. He asked if we'd noticed any burning smells and when we said we hadn't he showed us the scorched interior of the electric box and told us we were lucky it hadn't caused an electrical fire and burned the house down. We said that, three months ago, an engineer from N-Power had been to fit a smart meter to the electricity supply. He said it looked like he'd done an extremely poor job of the wiring which had been arcing and had caused the wires to burn.
As he went further into the supply he discovered even more faults, poorly attached wires, not properly tightened connections, etc. In the end he said he couldn't continue with the job as reconnecting everything would pose a serious fire risk. He said it was the responsibility of N-Power to come and fix it and suggested I get on the 'phone to them straight away.
Of course, it's not quite as simple as that because when you dial N-Power all you get to speak to is a pre-recorded message and are given different options to select by pressing the buttons on the phone, none of which, of course, are suitable for the problem you have.
To cut a long story short, it took about half an hour of hanging on the phone whilst some God-awful music played over and over before I could speak to someone. Then the routine of proving I was who I said I was and the usual "this call will be monitored for training purposes" etc, etc.
Once I'd explained the problem, I was put on hold again for almost ten minutes before the girl came back on line, only to tell me she was still trying to contact an engineer and would call me back in about 15 minutes. Meanwhile while, we're sitting in the dark with no lights and no heating and it's a cold and dismal late afternoon.
Eventually, she calls me back to say the engineer is finishing another job and will call me when he's on his way. This indeed happens and the N-Power engineer arrives at our home. The British Gas engineer has kindly hung on to explain the problem to the N-Power guy who agrees that the N-Power fitter had done a 'shoddy' job when he'd come to fit the electricity smart meter three months ago. However, he made the excuse that the engineer was probably a contractor working for N-Power. That may well have been the case but obviously didn't make any difference to the fact that our house was in danger of an electrical fire.
The gas engineer then left and the N-Power engineer began the lengthy repair of the supply system.
Meanwhile, of course, we're shivering in the cold and dark. After some time, the supply was restored and the house lights came on. Then the N-Power engineer said the problem had been caused by 'our' electrician. I replied that there is no 'our' electrician and never had been. The only electrician to ever work on our supply system had been the N-Power smart meter fitter, three months previous. Trying to shift the responsibility perhaps?
Anyway, the electricity is now restored and I'm able to turn on my computer and type this journal entry, (though I've lost yet another day of important 'Plectronica' preparation as a result of the problem.) And we'll have to make another appointment for British Gas to return to fit the gas smart meter again.
I'm told that I'll soon have some news about the live streaming of the 'Plectronica' event, so stay tuned to this journal and my website.
I'm posting a photo of the new album boxes currently sitting in my dining room. There are 288 copies of the new album in these six, very heavy, boxes, and every single copy has been hand signed by myself. These copies will be on sale at the event on December 1st.
Now, I need to continue trying out different guitars for the various tracks that will feature in the live set, and thankfully my studio has electricity once more...
Another flyer for the 'Stupid Serious' album...
Six big boxes containing 288 signed copies of the 'AUDITORIA' album sitting in my dining room...