That Beast from the East

Well our central heating broke down early Thursday morning after two days of temperatures about -5 degrees C. The temperature in the house was about 13 degrees... reminded me of the olden days when we had no central heating. The condensate pipe had frozen. It's a pipe from the boiler which is routed outside the house. It takes the excess water from the boiler in a slow trickle. It's easy to thaw out with a couple of kettles of boiling water.

Trouble with ours is that the boiler is upstairs and the pipe leaves the house at bedroom level. I defrosted the bottom half of the pipe, but was wary of climbing a ladder with a boiling kettle of water. 10 years ago, I'd have shinned up the ladder with reckless abandon, but being conscious of my mortality... decided not to chance it.

Fortunately, a local plumber of our acquaintance came out and defrosted the pipe with the alacrity of youth coupled with a tradesman's experience.

The great freeze lasted for 4 days in total and dumped copious amounts of snow across the country. We all expect the country to grind to a halt under such conditions... and the country duly obliged.

Spring should arrive in the next couple of days and I should be able to get out for a potter around the garden. I've got many hardy plants... hardy to maybe 2 or 3 degrees below zero that is... not sure how they'll be after the best part of a week well below zero.


Hope your plants are well. Here in Exmouth my banana tree is looking very sorry but I don't care as it grows like a weed. Everything else ok. I like your snowmansmiley

Plants look Ok, although I'm not sure about some climbing fuchsias until new growth does or does not come. I've never grown a banana plant. I must look those up.


Interesting read Shackleton. The same thing happened to us, heating and hot water went off and ours was to do with the outside pipe freezing. Had to call out a plumber who manged...thankfully to fix problem...just have to wait for the bill to come in now, sad but at least problem was fixed, smiley so can't all be bad. My partner managed to get three days off work too, so he was happy.

Glad you got through this period okay in the end.

By the way I like the picture too.


The below-zero temperature over a few days was the cause of so many systems to crash. The plumber sorted us by 11am and said he had a further 10 calls to make that day. He expected to be home about midnight. It was a random picture off Facebook to tell you the truth. Take care.


Brilliant snowman.  Glad you got everything sorted, and hope the hardy plants have proved hardy enough.  I'm relieved that the thaw has come, but we've had buckets of rain here, and people are now muttering 'flooding'.  

Snow long gone now and temperature almost in double figures. I had a potter about in the garden yeasterday. Good to be alive when the sun finally shines.


shackleton with husky and north pole experieces I expected that great British puttering on to succeed and I guess Spring will spring us all. 


Spring on the verge of bustin' out all over. I feel a song coming on...