There are men in our house.
We’re having a new central heating boiler fitted. Changing from oil to electricity feels like the right thing to do - for us and our planet - so, the oil tank has gone from the garden and now the boiler is being replaced.
But that means there are men in the house. There’s one in the loft, sorting the wiring, one outside filling a hole in the wall where the old flue has been taken out, another with his head in the cupboard under the sink, talking about water pressure.
Philip and I sit opposite each other at the kitchen table, wrapped up against the cold. I’m wearing my biggest jumper, a scarf, fingerless gloves, he’s in more layers than a man from the north should ever respectably wear.
He’s working, managing to concentrate through the noise of drills and hammers, the sounds of strange men talking above our heads, the blasts of cold air from doors left open.
The old boiler was here a very long time – it’s seen several families come and go. It made everyone feel welcome and kept them all warm. It didn’t stop because there were strange men in the house.
But me? I can’t settle to anything.