Having consumed a large bowl of creamy mushroom soup for my Sunday lunch I sat down to page through the weekend papers. I had had sufficient experience of the outside temperature from my morning run not to be taken in by the blue sky. A lazy afternoon in front of a warm fire beckoned.
I had just finished reading an article concerning Cdr. Nick Crews. He is of course the chap whose e-mail berating his three adult children was made public last week. Any how's I had finished reading this article, inwardly congratulating the gentleman on his eloquent turns of phrase, when I heard a loud cheep. Knowing that I was not the owner of a budgerigar I glanced towards the window expecting to see some small bird perched on the windowsill. There was nothing there.
Maybe I had imagined or misheard the sound? No. There it was again. I went to investigate. It wasn't the smoke alarm. What was the source? The, "cheeps," weren't getting any louder or more frequent, but they were beginning to annoy me.
I headed towards the utility room. This was the source of the birdless sounds. A small yellowish green light was flashing on some piece of apparatus above the central heating boiler. I did seem to remember seeing it before, but I hadn't a clue what it did. I peered at the casing, searching for enlightenment. There was something written on it, but the trusty reading spectacles would be needed to allow me to decipher the miniscule lettering. I trotted off to retrieve them from on top of my papers. Hey presto! I could now read the previously illegible words on this blasted sound box.
Oh dear! I was being warned that I was breathing in carbon monoxide fumes and that I should go outside immediately. Bugger that. It was too cold to be dashing outside. I closed the utility room door, snatching the various guides from the side of the boiler as I went and retreated to my papers to consider matters. A quick glance at the installation guide soon gave reassurance. An intermittent noise at thirty second intervals meant that the battery was running out of power. I should have realised that this must be the problem. It wasn't even as if the boiler had been on.
I returned to my papers with whiskey in hand, - purely for medicinal purposes you understand. After all I could have been asphyxiated.