Thursday, January 15, 2009

Home from home...

So we are back in San Fran, back from the UK, back to warm days and blue skies, beyond the reach of England's bitter cold. But for all Britain's bad points; that chilling east wind, Heathrow's Terminal 5, the way we Brits moan and is nevertheless 'home'. And though I was keen to get back to California it was mainly for Max and Oli's sake - for that reassuring return to routine. Had I known what awaited us I might have stayed on a little longer. As we pushed through the junk mail and bills that had piled up behind our door I saw a puddle around the fridge. Floorboards swollen, the smell of rot. Icicles had formed on the shelving inside but the fridge's motor was running on overdrive and heating it up from the base. In my jet-lagged derangement I knew I couldn't deal with it immediately but due to that same derangement I thought I'd try opening the freezer section at the top - bad idea. In my anger at the damn thing being frozen over (and knowing I'd surely lost all the food in there) I managed to get the door open an inch - but then I couldn't open it any further and couldn't close it either... The drips began to quicken. I left rags and old towels out to sop up the mess and went to bed. We were all in bed by 7.30pm, bliss, then awake again at 2, blaagh. Max was electrically awake and especially keen on playing with his trains. 'I want to go down the stairs.' 'I want daddy down the stairs.' 'Daddy, do you want to play with me?' 'I don't want to play quietly in my room.' By 6am it was actually a relief to be able to get up. Dom, amazingly and perhaps quite sensibly went off to work, or should I say, to his place of work. Quite miraculously at 8am my babysitter called me to ask if we'd made a plan for her to come over. No, we hadn't but YES PLEASE could we? A wave of relief. A few phone calls later and within the hour a man was on his way to mend the fridge - ahh, the joy of convenience America. He recommended a new one so the old appliance was dragged out, still bleeding, to the garden. Max was delighted to see the 'Man-Fridge' and his box of tools. (Why is it that 'Man-Fridge' sounds like someone half man, half fridge and yet Fridge Man is quite obviously someone who comes to mend it?) Four days living out of a cool box with the jet lag improving by roughly an hour a day and some sense of that reassuring routine must surely come soon.

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