We have had a month of unseasonably warm, dry weather. Now we have heavy rain, with snow and freezing temperatures forecast for the next two weeks. So it was inevitable that it would be at exactly this moment that the boiler ceased to function.
Actually, it's the chimney flue that vents the boiler, but the effect is the same. (It's a solid-fuel boiler.) Clouds of smoke from the blocked flue billowing into our room mean that we can't use it. Which means no central heating and no hot water. John spent a morning taking it all apart and cleaning it and brushing out the chimney, but there seems to be a blockage further up than he could reach. Naturally, the chimney sweep isn't available straight away, and by the time he's able to come I fear the road will be blocked by snow.
We're keeping the kitchen and living room warm with the woodburning stove, and heating water on it. So we're warm enough. But I sure would like a hot shower.