Thursday, 4 April, wake up, have a shower and a........ wait a minute, why is there no hot water for my shave?

I thought the whole idea of a water heater was to have a constant supply of hot water. Let's check to make sure the heater hasn't been turned off..... God, this house feels colder than usual today.

Ah, those lights on the heater never used to flash, so let's take a look at the control panel...... oh, why is the “reset" button flashing? Let me just read the manual. . . (hums to myself)... OK, so the manual says to press the “reset" button. Here goes nothing.

That's strange, the water heater came on for about twenty seconds and then made a funny blowing noise and switched off again..... better ring the repairs hotline and report it, as it’s forecast to be - 2° celsius tonight.

OK, so the landlord has said they will send an engineer out ASAP. Left them both home and mobile numbers, as I intend on visiting my sister.

Came back from my sister’s house to find an answer phone message regarding our heater (so much for the mobile number). Apparently the earliest they can send someone is Saturday..... wait a minute, it’s Thursday... forty-eight hours without hot water or central heating? I DO NOT THINK SO!

Let’s ring the landlord again... just as I thought, they said 48 hours is not acceptable, and they shall make sure someone is with us within four hours.

Apparently they changed their mind, because the four hours came and went. Time to send the kids to my parents' house; it's far too cold for them here.

Thursday turns into Friday, resulting in more irate phone calls. Friday turns into Saturday.... someone turns up. Engineer goes to take a look at our heater, and what he said next was the last thing I expected him to say:

“When did you have your outside walls plastered?"Why would he be asking me this? My response was, “Errrrr, about six weeks ago...why?"

I'll spare you the full conversation, but when the contractors came to plaster our walls, they decided to cover the filter and therefore prevent the deadly carbon monoxide gasses from leaving our property. The fact that I am able to write this post is some small miracle. A measurement of 46%.... I'll repeat that.... 46% carbon monoxide was detected downstairs, and 18% detected upstairs. As the engineer said, we are all lucky to be alive. Six weeks of breathing in carbon monoxide.