I'd apologise for eating the plums that were in the icebox, but since the icebox is the lounge, that would be confusing. I don't even like plums, but that's not the point.
Our lounge is the "icebox", because it's large and airy and has three huge windows which are exposed to the unfriendly elements outside, and more to the point, we've had no working hot water or central heating since before Christmas, so while it's good for keeping our Christmas chocolates solid, our lounge is less suitable for human habitation.
Which is a problem, because my girlfriend's mother is arriving to stay with us for a week, and we're planning to have her sleep on a sofabed in a room seemingly designed with pneumonia in mind.
Although service engineers have just been at work replacing the corroded pump in our boiler that looks like it's been in situ since the Roman occupation, earlier this week I cracked and, tired of hunching on the sofa watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine under a pile of blankets the size of Torchwood Tower, texted my parents to ask if they had any ingenious solutions. Half an hour later, they turned up, and with a light in my heart and three pairs of socks on my feet, I finally plugged in Peter the Heater.
Peter the Heater is an appliance that has, frankly, seen some shit. I had Peter in my room back at my parents' old house when still in my early 20s, and before that, my late teens. Peter heated the place when it looked like Guantánamo Bay, all floorboards and cracked plaster, and when I returned to find it spruced up beyond all recognition, he found his place once again - often between my computer chair and my bed, so that whichever position I was wanking in, he could make sure my legs never got cold.
I'm uncertain as to whether or not he had any other purpose. That's most certainly what I used him for.
For such an old appliance, and bearing in mind I wasn't his first owner, Peter is doing remarkably well. He heats up in a flash - although it sounds like a bit of a struggle at times, he manages it - and, although the heat doesn't really radiate out as far as it could - one needs to treat Peter like a campfire, sitting by him and warming one's hands, possibly with a plastic mug full of hot chocolate and an acoustic guitar singing Green Grow The Rushes Ho! in increasingly drunken ways - he is effective. For a couple such as us, where it was becoming more of a luxury to go out into the single-digit temperatures just to warm up a little, his small, humming presence has been a godsend.
As I struggled out of bed and fought my way through still-wet clothes that weren't drying on the rack above the cold radiator this morning, I was beginning to wonder exactly what we'd do with Peter once our central heating was fixed. I remember turning it off at various points during the day due to it just being too warm to function.
Fear not, though, friends. Peter is still operational.
For the radiator is on the other side of the room. Peter is in the place where he belongs - right next to my computer chair.