It's now been more than two weeks since the boiler in my flat last fired. A full fortnight of in-house bathlessness. I'm relieved that it's not still winter because my radiators rely on a supply of heated water, and I'm relieved that it's not yet summer because at least I'm not sweating like a pig all the time. It could be worse. But the prognosis is not good. The workman who came to investigate my boiler fiddled around with taps and switches for a few minutes before deciding that a new valve was definitely required. But when the valve arrived three days later and failed to solve the problem he then decided that oh no a new circuit board was definitely required instead, and that's now on order. I may be more than a little suspicious of this engineer's expertise and motives, but who am I to argue? I only live here. At this rate I reckon restored hot water may still be some days, or even weeks, distant. It's all looking a bit grim really. And distinctly grimy.
But hurrah - a temporary solution is at hand. BestMate has offered the use of his bathroom for the forthcoming week, and I can use it as often as I like. There's only one catch - his bathroom is on the west coast of America - but needs must. So this lunchtime I'm off to Heathrow to brave the holiday crowds and upgraded security protocols, and then I'm boarding a Boeing across the Atlantic. My sincerest apologies go out to the two passengers destined to sit in the seats on either side of me for a full ten hours, but I have scrubbed all relevant bodily surfaces using a kettleful of hot water so I trust I won't reek too much.
Yup, I'm off to SanFrancisco. Any excuse. Posts may therefore be a little more sporadic over the next week, partly because of the eight hour time difference but also because I'll be out having a life. Keep your fingers crossed that the humorless immigration droids don't decide to quarantine me at the airport until my retinal scan and fingerprints have been independently verified against all known terrorist databases. All international travellers these days are guilty until proved innocent. As for the city itself, I've been to SF before so I know what to expect (fog, contours and men with beards). So while I'm in flight I thought you might like to take a look at some of my holiday snaps from last time, two Easters ago, just to get a taste of San Francisco before I arrive. Hopefully I'll be able to top up this pool of photographs during the coming week and write about some of my travels. Just let me have a bath first.