Pas des incidents in Etang La Ville
Suddenly at 7pm our lights went out. A quick glance around confirmed we were alone in our misery. Everywhere else Christmas Trees, decorations, cosy rooms seen through frosted (literally) glass. For us Tenebre Profonde. Three chidren in house and two aged people. Crisis at Christmas
First IA (Immediate action as in military jargon)check the fuses and trip switches in the vast freezing garage, All Ok Second IA: ring the agent for the property. Out. Leave a message. Third : ring EDF (Electricitie Diaboloque Francaise) Can't help as son in law has hidden electricity bills and we don't have the account number. Ring son in law; out carousing with pals, leave messageRing ermergency electrician found in Pages Jaunes. Will come for 76 Euro but suggest call EDF. Will set out anyway, be there in an hour.
Cat asks to go out.
Ring EDF-ascertain from auto system : pas des incidents in our area. Not EDF's problem. Want to speak to human but still need the account number. Son in law returns call and follow his vague instructions to find bills. Find them somewhere else. Ring EDF , oldest daughter's mobile out of credit.Use mine making international calls on my UK account. Find Human in EDF (after 30 minutes on hold) No incidents in Etang La Ville. Not our problem. Find an electrician. And have a good day. Thankyou for calling EDF
Now 9.15pm. -10C outside, not much warmer within despite log fire lit with some difficulty using old electricity bills, The Guardian (Overseas edition) cereal packets and about 28 firelighters.Fire looks lovely but all heat up chimney. Two children asleep, one rampaging.
Ascertain that Emergency Electrician is 15 minutes away-only 90 minutes on road so far. Agent surfaces returning call. Stand down electrician he advises. He will come himself. Gives eldest daughter instructions on how to turn the power back on. Useless. He sets off.
Emergency Electrician turns up. Two small screwdrivers, a torch with no battery. Uses ours. No power coming through is his verdict after ineffectually trying all the switches. Pokes a few fuses. Advises call EDF. Demands Euro 150. His boss was mistaken in quoting 76. Eldest Daughter gives him short shrift. Accepts cheque for Euro 76. Departs, muttering.
Lights come on just as Agent arrives. Apparently the master switch is on the main road at our gate. The protective container is broken and the box unlocked and some jeune homme francais passing our gate presumably decided to pull up the switch as une plaisantarie seasonale. Or perhaps a manifestation of anti Brit sentiment. Agent switches on again. Merry Christmas
Finish off flat beer.
Son in Law returns. Full of high spirits and cheap wine. Asks about our evening.
We tell him.
Suggest cat comes in.
Labels: Christmas in France, EDF