Saturday, 26 September 2009

Water(2) and Fast(2) and Awake!

Fast (1)
So, we are nearly at Yom Kippur, the first fast of the year. The day of Yom Kippur is the only day of the year where the 'Opponent' ceases to exist - where there is no negative energy at all. Usually where holidays are concerned (including the weekly Shabbat), extra spiritual energy is gained by 'sealing the connection' with food.

With Yom Kippur, extra connection is made by not eating - by pushing aside the needs of the physical and obtaining sustenance for our soul. So from tomorrow night at sunset (6:41) there will be no food or drink consumed for 25 hours.

If Yom Kippur was the day after Rosh Hashanah, I would be grateful for the opportunity not to eat for an entire day. 3 days of buffet breakfasts and 3-course lunches and dinners tend to have that effect. But after a week of eating sensibly this might be a slight challenge - my stomach is rumbling already.

So I've decided that the best course of action is to start eating from sunrise tomorrow morning, and not stop until sunset. I am going to eat the biggest breakfast, then cook a roast dinner (enough for two) and then take snacks on the train. Clothes with an elasticated waist are in order - either that or a bathrobe. I'm not proud.

I went shopping today, to buy ingredients for tomorrow's blow out feast. At the checkout, the same question is asked: "Do you need any help with your packing?" I always answer "No, thanks" at which point the cashier starts running items past the bar-code at an unnecessary rate of knots. I used to try to keep up, but now I pack at my own pace and avoid eye contact with the cashier until I am ready to pay. What I learned was that the stores have a throughput rate that the cashiers must meet or exceed to keep their jobs. Yes, it helps to have competent cashiers, but is it only me who thinks there should be a rate that the cashiers should not exceed so that customers actually have a chance to pack their shopping without getting dirty looks or deep sighs? Customer service is what is best for the customer - I wonder if any of the management knows what that means.

The other minor irritation is when the cashier asks "Please can you enter your pin?" two seconds before the card reader displays "ENTER PIN". Hmmph. Just sayin'

The push tap on the last sink on the right hand side of the Harvey Centre (in Harlow) women's loos deserves a prize. I was expecting scorching hot, it was the perfect temperature. I was expecting a two-second burst of Niagara Falls (enough to rinse hands, and soak sleeves, T-shirt and jeans), but no, it was perfect. Life is full of pleasant little surprises, if only we know where to look.

The Pilot Light on my boiler has gone out. I discovered this when I tried to take a shower this morning and no hot water came through. I was bent over the bath for a very long time, refusing to believe that this was as good as it was going to get. I then took a lukewarm shower.

I tried to restart the boiler but it looks as though the ignition has gone. There is nothing - zip, zilch, nada - going on in the click-click-click department. "Well that's no problem" I hear you say "just flick on the immersion". I've tried that already. In fact, I stared at every surface inside my airing cupboard for a full ten minutes before remembering.... I don't have an immersion heater.

***update*** whilst typing the above I remembered that when staring in to the airing cupboard, I saw a plug hanging down behind the water tank. A rather dusty, random looking plug, but a plug all the same. So it has only taken 10 hours for my sharp super-sleuth senses to register than I do actually have an immersion heater, just not a socket inside the airing cupboard. I removed the fluff and have plugged it in to the socket outside the bathroom door. There were no loud bangs or puffs of smoke, just a scary hissing sound. Fingers crossed that I might get a hot bath before the house blows up.... ****

I slept through a full hour of my radio alarm this morning, waking up just in time to miss shabbat. If I wasn't allergic, I'd get a cat....:


  1. I love that cat.
    I had 2 like that back in Chicago.

  2. What an excellent collection. I love the eccentricity involved in awarding a prize to a tap in a public lavatory. As for boilers, don't talk to me about them, I have had nothing but problems with ours for the last couple of weeks. I wish I could find a plug in the airing cupboard but they even took the hot water tank away when they fitted a new boiler. And as for the cat ... love it. Does one say "Happy Yom Kippur"? Well I'm saying it anyway.