As everyone who reads my blog even intermittently knows, Mike's been signed off work for over a year now. The problem is that his employment contract only allows a year off work and then it's the chop in one way or another. Unfortunately his condition isn't recognized as 'permanent' which is amazing. If he'd claimed emotional problems he'd be a happily retired ex-teacher now with a pension. Since he's British and has that damn stiff upper lip there's no mention of emotions, much less the amazing amount of stress caused by going in a week from a healthy, active individual to someone who can't even walk down into the village for a pint or a newspaper or a loaf of bread and has been like this for over a year.
So, we're stuck with no income and no one who will just be decent humans and say 'yup, you've taught for 30 years in a school in a neighborhood with astonishing societal problems and kept going until your body turned on you, here's your pension and thanks for the hard work'. Nope. Nada.
So, we're keeping our chins (no, that's not double chins, it's collective family chins) up and trying to cope with the whole thing but right now it's hard to make sense of it all.
The boat also gave me a fright today, it was cold enough to warrant lighting the fire and so I did. And an hour into the toasty warmth that is our fire, it started making horrendous, huge whooshing noises along the lines of the entire blast furnace output of Gary, Indiana (don't burst into song, please!) until I braved the whooshing long enough to turn off the fuel feed. It's cool enough now to check what's wrong but I think I'll go all girl-like and insist that He Who Does DIY (albeit only marginally) should examine the stove. Until then it's electric blankets and the space heater. And a cup of tea, which is what I need.