Tuesday, 8 January 2013

The Bells, The Bells!

We've been here about ten weeks now.  And, other than the bathroom, have basically moved our furniture in and settled down.  I have to admit that I haven't yet got round to cleaning all of the rooms, although I did unpack the final box (excluding the junk room, which is still stuffed full of them) whilst on Christmas leave.  And the house has just accepted us in and relaxed back into being a home.

The Sitting Room
The Dining Room: View One
The Dining Room: View Two
And we've become oblivious to the fact that it was once a business, even though delivery men sometimes try to get in through the front door to head to the old reception, which is now my mum's living room.  However, there are some obvious signs of this recent past around the place.  For example, I am writing this in my study.  As you enter the study, there is a huge green fire exit sign above the door with an arrow pointing to the study window.

In Case of Fire - Jump Out of Study Window and Hope to Land in Tree!
I only noticed this again the other day; most of the time I'm oblivious to it.  I don't even notice how the signs on the landing glow in the dark when you switch the lights out.

Luminous Signs - A New Art Form!
Or the other give aways of its previous usage.  Such as the hand drier, complete with out of order sign (although it does actually work if someone mixes up the switch with the light switch and then you brush past it - but not sure that I want to risk using it all of the time and, somehow, it's not very homely!), in the downstairs loo next to the paper towel dispenser.  (We still have piles of spare paper towels in the cupboard under the sink - must remember that next time we run out of kitchen roll!)

Towels Also Available On Request...

I've forgotten that we have 24 light bulbs in our bedroom alone.  And haven't yet had an idle moment to count how many we have throughout the entire house.

Very Loud Red Bells All Over The House

We also have an industrial fire alarm system.  This came to my attention before Christmas when my friend B came round for a bite to eat one evening.  I was griddling steak and producing quite a lot of smoke.  I'd just said, "We don't have an extractor fan in here" when all hell was let loose.  Imagine the fire alarms going off in your place of work.  Well, this was a place of work and the fire alarms are just like that.  I had no idea that the system was switched on.  And I had no idea how to switch it off.  Or whether the alarm was going straight through to the fire station.

Leaving B using a fork to try to prise open one of the smoke detectors in the corridor outside the kitchen, I raced into the back lobby where there is some sort of control box.  But that wasn't it.  So I phoned S, who was out at some business dinner.  He didn't answer.  I tried him again.  Thankfully, he realised that I did really need to speak to him and answered the phone.  The control panel was just behind the piano.  I unlocked it and frantically pulled at wires and switches.  Miraculously, the noise stopped.

The Control Panel
B was disappointed.  She had been hoping for five firemen in thigh high boots bearing hatchets.  And, despite the racket that seemed to me to go on for hours, none of our dear neighbours came to check on us.

But the best bit of all was my dear old mum emerging from her sitting room after about ten minutes, having finally figured out that the noise wasn't on the telly.  "Do we all have to assemble outside?" she asked, worriedly.

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