Learning how to cope 
when things get heated

Kate Livingstone
Kate Livingstone

So there I was, driving home on Tuesday night, looking forward to nothing more than a late dinner and an early bed.

It had been one of those days, and an even longer one was ahead of me on Wednesday so I resigned myself to being lazy.

However, when I opened my front door, I was hit by a wall of heat.

Mmm, strange, I thought, but I took off my scarf and coat and just assumed the house seemed so warm because it was so chilly outside.

An hour later, while cooking a hot curry of all things, I found myself opening the back door to let in some air to deal with the stifling heat.

I had already turned the heating off on my wee box on the wall and wound the thermostate right down.

Two stuffy hours later, and it seemed that my boiler had a life of its own.

Despite ordering it to do nothing, it had turned my house into the Tropics.

I couldn’t touch the radiators because they were so hot, and was throwing open every window in the house - in early February - in Scotland.

“Call someone, Kate,” said my friend who’d called for a catch up.

“You’ll never be able to sleep if it’s that hot.”

The thought of losing a night’s sleep was too much, and, after much Googling and phone calls, a nice lady at the National Grid told me to turn the boiler off.

So I walked outside (forgetting I had not much on), phone in one hand, torch in the other, turned a red-handed lever and finally felt the temperature dip.

Unfortunately, it was only then the Grid woman told me that I couldn’t power the boiler back on.

“Oh, no, no, no,” she laughed. “You need a qualified engineer for that.”

“Right,” I said. “And where do I find one of those?”

More Googling and calls, and I quickly realised I’d be spending a few nights without heat.

It’s not too bad actually - lots of offers of free dinners and beds for the night from people who have heated homes. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.