Friday, 31 January 2014
A while ago one of the fluorescent tubes under the kitchen units went. I purposely headed to our local electrician suppliers with a snap shot, on my mobile, of the old, defunct tube. There clear as a June morn was all the details. I pointed my phone at the salesman/owner. "Nope, don't have that, best try one of the large DIY suppliers", was his entrepreneurial reply.
I went off to Homebase, not with the extinguished tube just the photo on my phone. I flashed my phone at the lady at the entrance who was miked up. She called someone over who looked like he knew his tubes. I flashed my photo in his face. "What's its length?" he asked. I made a measuring gesture. "About this big it fits under some units at home." "Can't help without the length", he countered.
Two hours later I returned with the defunct tube. The miked up lady remembered me, "You showed me your photograph.. It was quite long..Daniel". Daniel appeared. I handed him my tube and we headed for the lighting section. Nothing...what they had was either too long, too fat, too thin or too short. He suggested I try B&Q.
Three hours later, having traipsed around B&Q, Wickes, Tesco's and another hundred stores me and my tube returned home.
I went on line. Scrolling though pages of tubes the thought occurred to me that I was obsolete. They didn't make my size any more. Why should they. Our kitchen was installed in 1996 along with the tubes. Since then we've had the internet, iPods, iPhones, iPads and FaceBook surely fluorescent tubing has been taken over by LED and organ o-fluorescence. I had to resign myself to replacing the whole of the kitchen with ET lighting.
Then, there it was a veritable storehouse of my type of tubes. Exactly the same make, same wattage and same length. I ordered two. They arrived two days later in innocuous looking packaging - left with a neighbour who still doesn't know what the package contained.
That was three weeks ago. In my excitement I tried to install the new tube the moment it arrived. Fatal. I was too excited, I'd just done the shopping and emptied the dishwasher. My mental state was all over the place. The upshot was... two new tubes on the table.
When the missus came home I explained. "Are they the correct length?" An eminently sensible question but hinting that I might not be trusted with a tape measure or any sense whatsoever. The following morning she informed me that I had ordered the correct length, as she had measured them.
And that's how it was left. A dark patch where light should be and two, quite expensive tubes boring into my guilt.
Until today. I cleared the kitchen unit surface. I laid out a mirror and I got a powerful torch. Not a sausage. No matter how I tried I couldn't fit the damn thing. Before, when I tried weeks ago, it was too short, this time it was too long. In desperation I Googled "how to fit a florescent tube". There it was on YouTube a revelation, I had to turn the sockets through 90 degrees before inserting the tube.
The missus came home to a beaming me and a properly lit kitchen. Now all we need to sort is the still leaking roof.