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Running out of oil - I can see why Mum is about to panic

PUBLISHED: 10:26 09 March 2018

Many of the problems of the last week's snow have eased, but others have taken their place. Pic submitted

Many of the problems of the last week's snow have eased, but others have taken their place. Pic submitted

Archant

The excitement of the snow may have gone in Norfolk, but the drama continues, writes Jo Malone.

Our community pulled together, literally, to solve many of the problems of the last week's snow. But how can we help my mother? Pic submittedOur community pulled together, literally, to solve many of the problems of the last week's snow. But how can we help my mother? Pic submitted

It’s not the huge piles of ice on the roadsides or even our fort disintegrating quicker than next door’s igloo that’s bothering us.

We can see water from the melting snow isn’t going anywhere as we paddle through the lake that was once our garden. Water steadily pouring from what I guess is a cracked pipe in a new pothole in the road isn’t helping, but we’re not too worried – unlike my mother.

She does, as my Dad used to say, ‘enjoy a little panic’ but as she is now, apparently, officially classed as vulnerable, I feel she’s entitled to the full blown screaming abdabs if she wants.

I’m surprised by her new vulnerable label. I thought that was for the very elderly or frail, housebound, for those living 
with disabilities or for very tiny babies, not for my extremely capable mother who looks out for all of us.

Mum is worried her oil tank is seriously low on oil.Mum is worried her oil tank is seriously low on oil.

However, she’s now reached an age where she’s entitled to be vulnerable however fit and lively she is, not that her vulnerable tag is helping. She’s very low on oil and vulnerable people are supposed to be a priority with her oil delivery company.

More than a week after oil should have arrived she is still being told her ‘order is overdue’ - as if she didn’t know that.

She’s spent hours phoning, heard pretty much the entire musical repertoire on its call waiting playlist, been passed around various people at the company and then, to her frustration, discovered that the fuel only has to come from 11 miles away.

She doesn’t want to run out. Most oil companies tell householders if they run out that the boiler will have to be primed – inconvenient and expensive. Plus if there is less than 12 inches of oil in the tank a delivery may disturb the sediment, sending it to clog filters and pipes.

A new hole in the road is a nuisance, but not as worrying as Mum being cold. Pic submittedA new hole in the road is a nuisance, but not as worrying as Mum being cold. Pic submitted

So she’s worrying, a lot.

I didn’t help the situation by pointing out that her oil company is the same one that partly blamed depleted oil stocks for the problem when Reedham Primary School needed an urgent delivery.

Now she’s turned the heating way down as she’s really worried about it running out. I try not to interfere but she shouldn’t be cold so I phone, and get … music.


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