When Gremlins Attack

gremLast weekend was a gremlin-fuelled rolling catalogue of things ‘going wrong.’ None of the things going awry were life-threatening, but thoroughly exasperating when they ran into each other like a flock of myopic chickens!

It began on Saturday morning when the silver chain that I wear at all times got caught on the corner of a kitchen cupboard and the catch (on the chain) snapped in half. It is one of those things that I feel lost without so a small string of expletives followed, but as Peter and I were mid-clean in preparation for a house viewing I put the pieces in a safe place and carried on; fully intending to go back and repair it later.

The house hunting couple arrived and looked, around making suitably eager noises. Until, that is, we went out to show them the brick-built shed. As we exited… the door gave way; that is to say two of the three hinges gave up the ghost and the door sagged onto the remaining one at a drunken angle.  Now the rekeyason for this was logical, if exasperating, in that during the much talked of Storm Doris earlier in the week the door had slammed back against the wall. It seemed at the time not to have suffered damage but sods law says that it would choose that particular moment to exhibit its war wounds.

I went out later and bought fresh hinges but as it was windy and raining hard we locked the door shut and left it for the morning to make good the repair. Now the hinges were not expensive at the local ironmongers and so it was a surprise to find that each packet contained not single hinges but pairs; meaning we had six instead of the expected three – I was in fact, one packet spare of a set.

A spare set was not a big deal as a spare set is never a bad plan and hingePeter soon had the door fixed (with a few more expletives and the aid of a drill to remove two recalcitrant screws holding the broken remnants of hinge to the door frame, and  which refused to budge). It seemed a waste of time to traipse back to town and return the pack for £1.50, so the spares were chucked into the ‘oddments’ box.

Enough jinxy activity for one weekend you might have thought.  All was well. But no! The gremlins were far from finished with Casa Coleborn.

The following evening a friend called to pick up some books we were clearing out. Peter and I duly helped her carry the bags to her car only to find her car had been blocked in by some nerk parking across our driveway and I had to go in hunt of the driver to move on. As our guest was about to leave I went to go back indoors to check that we had all of the books only to find the front door had shut behind us…

No problem – I went to the back door to find Peter – always security conscious – had locked it, and because he is also fire alarm conscious had left the key in the lock on the inside – meaning our spare key could not be used.

So there we were at 10pm on a Sunday night locked out of the house. Calling a Locksmith is somewhat embarrassing given that I was a locksmith myself for many years. When my lock picks were indoors, however, there was little choice but bite the proverbial bullet.

Fortunately it was not raining, though it was chilly, so I put on an old gardening jacket that was hanging up in the shed to keep warm.  The Locksmith took a half hour to reach us and gained access in just  a few minutes (for a Sunday night premium price) and we were soon back indoors.

mouseLater that night I was trying to get to sleep and wondering why my hands and face were erupting in hives. I had forgotten all about that coat and the fact that it had been hanging up in a shed where mice do roam. So what, you might think. Normally I would think the same thing, but for the small matter of my violent allergy to rodents – and in particular to mice! A shower and industrial strength anti-histamines later  (around 4 am) I managed to sleep.

This morning I got up and – accepting the Locksmith’s word that the lock was broken and I would need to go and get a new one – I set out for the local ironmongers. ‘No,’ says he’ that is a Legge make of lock and we don’t have one.’ So I took a five mile round trip to the nearest B&Q – No,’ says the assistant, ‘that is an ERA lock, and we don’t have one.’

I came home thinking okay I shall get onto t’internet thingy and track one down. But first I will calm down and repair my silver chain. That done I turned my attention to the lock. Taking it apart I found it repairable with a few judicious welts with hammer and once it was working again I refitted it with out any further hassle. Everything crossed that the gremlins are resting after a hectic weekend!

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