I have no hot water at the moment. No warmth in my radiator either. I think my pipes have frozen. Or have they? If they have how can I still flush my toilet? And what am I gonna do when I can't? Who's gonna escort me around town throwing bags of you-know-what over garden fences? (Was it Hunter Thompson who did that? Or Keith Richards? I know it was somebody.)

I don't know. This is why God invented plumbers. Sadly, they are rather difficult to get hold of at this time of year, especially during the coldest December since 1890s (or whatever it is). I booked one to come yesterday but he cancelled on me at the last minute. Now I have another number. But if he doesn't come through I will have to wait until next Thursday, which is the the earliest time the guy I originally booked can give me on a re-booking.

And you know what? I don't mind. The snow is beautiful; it's so deep it completely covers the two Buddhas in my garden. And I can keep relatively clean by strip washing with water boiled in my kettle. And I still have food. Electricity. Access to a radio and music. What's the big deal? I'm having these fantasies about being a monk in retreat on top of a winter mountain in China or Tibet.

I also had the thought, the day I found the red emergency light on the boiler, that my next electricity bill would be lower. Cheapskate bastard. When you balance that saving against any work the plumber might have to do, it won't even look like a pee in a frozen bucket.