It's been snowing steadily for the last two days -- the world has turned white and with the snow piled ankle-high, it crunches so deliciously underfoot. There's not much traffic about and what there is drives past at a snail's pace...all sound is muffled and I love how quiet it's gone.
Willem came by yesterday to quote me for the work that needs to be done to bring my central heating system into the 21st century. He proposes quite a rigorous overhaul which involves lots of breaking/rebuilding of walls and laying of pipes, and gave me a rough calculation that, even though it represents an expense I really rather wouldn't incur at this moment in time, sounded surprisingly reasonable to me. An hour later, he called to let me know that he'd worked out the final quote and it would come to about 200 euros above the ball park figure he'd given me earlier. I told him to never mind that and when could he come and carry out the work? Not until the new year, he said...which means I'll have to wrap up warmly for a few more weeks.
Of course, in giving him the go-ahead, I'm ignoring all the consumer advice about always asking for quotes from 3 different companies if anything needs doing to your property. But I've known and trusted Willem with my heating for the last 15 years at least...so even if theoretically I could shop around for a heating engineer and find one that could start next week, I think I would still prefer to wait until Willem could fit me in.