Wires and connections

It was just a single plug socket. I thought it would be easy. As I was taking it off I took this shot for reference as it occurred to me that something ooky was going on in there. I’m glad I did.


Two wires in the neutral. Two in the earth. A load of random badly insulated wire jammed in the corner. One live wire.

The new plughousing puts the live and the neutral wire intake within a centimetre of each other  (“ftupid defign”, I mumbled to myfelf as I was connecting it, fcrewdriver in mouth”)

It haf a UFB flot to the Neft Fmart Thermoftat which I … forry … hang on …

Right yeah so as I was saying I’m gonna connect my Nest Smart Thermostat to the power full time through the USB slot on the new plug housing.

I didn’t bother making sense of why the old plug was wired like it was. Someone had big plans many years ago, and did many very very strange things with wires and switches all over the flat. You can now turn my thermostat off by using the wrong lightswitch, and eventually I’ll have to do something about that. It’s all above my pay grade though. Perhaps I should take an online course or somesuch. I almost laid down £26 to get a fucking certificate that told me I was a Druid, but that was more because I thought it would be funny. I then realised I’d immediately get annoyed with the tone of the course and wouldn’t complete.

Back to wiring. Right now I’m just happy I got the fucker wired back in and to a standard where I’m not in imminent danger of death and all the things work. But I’m gearing towards proper landlordy type stuff and that means that before long someone will have to properly fix this mess of lethal wiring. This is DIY on top of DIY on top of DIY. There’s a pile of wires in the attic above the bathroom that was originally created by a keen amateur in the sixties putting dimmers in everywhere on those small round three pin sockets. They are all offline and incomprehensible now. So Phil went up and did some emergency surgery when it all started dying. He lights for theatre, so we’re talking LX tape for insulation and gaffer when it runs out. Tristan and I tried to put it into a proper breaker box. So far nobody has died.

The long and short of it is, I’m a slightly pissed spider at the centre of an impossible arcane web of ancient circuitry, casting around an ancient top floor flat that has recently started to let in the water when it rains, up in the eaves where all the wires are.

The light I can shed in the flat so far shows me badly painted walls, some pink, some off white. It shows me boxes full of esoteric bollocks that needs to be shifted on eBay, or charity. It shows me bags full of clothes. It shows me oubliettes full of other people’s memories that needn’t be remembered in entirety. It shows me some walls that are rotting from water ingress and others that are cracked from subsidence shifting.

Motivating myself for change is often slow and cumbersome. Making sense of that one plug socket took me hours and sucked the confidence out of me when I realised I would just have to copy the wiring without understanding why. I hate parroting. Something to do with switches, clearly. But what?

Much still to be done. Non specific amount of time in which to do it.

On the plus side, I found this jigsaw which was abandoned over a decade ago by someone, before I got handy : “This is fucked. I get a new one on the company. You might be able to fix it. Worth a shot and saves me getting rid of it.” The blade is bent. Probably a reasonably cheap fix and then I’ve got a working jigsaw. I’m not good enough at this shit to find a use for it yet though. If I’m putting up shelves I’ll get the timber cut to fit. And I need to put shelves up as the ones put up by the ghost of DIY MAN past both chose to collapse this week. They were crap mdf with plastic chocks and I’ve got too many books.

Which reminds me. I found this. Shantaram.


It came highly recommended but the recommendation didn’t seem genuine. Will I enjoy this book? Thoughts on a postcard.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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