It sort of came to a head last year when a visitor to Murmur-y-Don rang to say the upstairs lights had fused.
“No problem!” I chortled merrily. “The fuse box is under the stairs and all you have to do is locate the holder for the broken fuse, pull it out of its bakelite range of sockets, find a card with 5 amp fuse wire on it, cut off a length — 2 or 3 inches will do — unscrew the screws holding the broken fuse in place, thread the replacement fuse wire through the ceramic tube and … hello? Hello?”
“He hung up on me,” I reported to Yvonne. “I’m not bloody surprised,” she replied with asperity. “Your great-grandmother contracted Joseph Swan to install that fuse box back in 1897. Isn’t it time you trundled into the twenty-first century?”
Did you know you don’t have to do the thing with the wire-cutting any more? The EU has introduced us to an object called a Consumer Unit, a damn fool name for a fuse box but a fuse box nonetheless. This is a work of genius. We’ve bought two of them. As I write we haven’t got any power in the green room, the yellow room, the landing, the hall or the study, but that’s not the point. Look at these wonderful shiny white objects, with lots and lots of switches. Every man’s dream. When it’s all connected up, as Gary the Sparks has been promising for three days, we will have electric power in all the places we had electric power before.
And when a fuse blows, all we will have to do is flip a switch, I think.
We’ve kept the Bakelite breakers because once Brexit is implemented it’s my belief we will be compelled to reinstate them. And we’ve got the Whitworth screws to mount them with, instead of those filthy foreign Metric ones. Floreat Britannia and all that. Flipping a switch to change a fuse will be left to those effete, jejune, epicene European devils, not man enough to wrestle in the dark with pointy bits of wire. Hmmph!