The solar panels are part of Tom's save the world crusade, along with refusing to go on an aeroplane ever again, trying to stubbornly cycle everywhere on his electric bike, and having a go at me every time a lorry backs up our driveway and dumps on our doorstep 'more clutter that will only end up in landfill'. I had to put my foot down when he tried to convince me that we could get by (as a family of four which includes two small children needing large cumbersome carseats) with just a Smart car and an electric bike.
Of course, I have total admiration and respect for everything he is doing, and I agree that things certainly need to be done, but not necessarily at the cost of making things impossible.
Having solar panels is the latest thing, and while I was nervous about it because of the huge initial costs, I am actually really pleased because it has given me peace of mind, that when the world does go completely tits up, I will at the very least still be able to watch TV. Tom has been giving me pep talks for the last few weeks in preparation, and has told me that once the panels have been installed I am only allowed to use the washing machine and the kettle when the sun is shining, for example.
Anyway, after heaving Tom out of bed to go and see to them, I then walked across the landing, which has one large long window running across it, to get to the bathroom. I looked down and saw the scaffolding men outside, on the ground, drinking the tea that Tom had made for them and looking quite settled.
I had my shower, and then merrily strode back across the landing, with just a towel round my waist, like I do every morning, but this morning I came face to face with the two men , who were now at the window of my landing at first floor level. I was already halfway across the landing when I clocked them, and so it was too late to turn back, as I would have drawn more attention to myself. So I continued my stride, hunched over, and head down, and dived through my bedroom door.
Outside the bedroom I could hear my darling children shouting things through the window like: 'Look men, do you like our shoes?' or 'Hello men, would you like my mummy to make you some more tea?' As I got dressed, in a mortified state, I went over and over it in my mind, did they see me, or didn't they? There is no way they could not have seen me. I hung around in the bedreoom for as long as I possibly could, until Tom bellowed up the stairs 'Elsie, it's 10 o'clock, I need you to take the kids, I have to get to work, WHERE ARE YOU? I emerged from the bedroom, fully dressed, and casually took a photo of the men at my landing window as I walked past to go downstairs.
No sooner had this photo been taken than Dolly escaped into the garden chanting 'man, tea? man, tea?' and I had to run out after her to retrieve her and face these men in the flesh, when all I really wanted to do was disappear in a puff of smoke.