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I’m writing this from the warm comfort of the new house, which tells you a little about how this story ends, but not much about the small bumps along the way.

Maybe the biggest of which was nearly burning down the house on our first day which, even by our usual standards of property devaluation, is pretty effective.

The new house boasted a gas BBQ housed in a lovely covered courtyard type affair which made it an obvious choice for dinner last weekend when the entire kitchen was boxed up and our friend was visiting.

After a quick trip to stock up on supplies, we threw open all the connecting doors and I took up position in the kitchen, and Keith at the BBQ.

There were smiles, there was chatter, there were children running around … there were flames engulfing the BBQ.

“WATER!” Keith shouted through, “I need WATER”

By now he had turned off the gas but there were still flames everywhere that were showing no sign of going out.

Under the wooden pergola.

I stood in the kitchen, playing what is probably best described as “box roulette”. Remember that the whole reason we are having the BBQ in the first place, is because we haven’t unpacked the kitchen, so there’s nothing for it but to start ripping into boxes, because buggered if I have the first idea which box might hold anything of use.

Out of the corner of my eye I spotted the craft unit, and set to tipping out the contents into a pile on the kitchen floor, and filling them up at the sink, passing each one to our friend to take to Keith. 

Between the toilet roll inners, tissue paper and glitter it wasn’t long before I had created a rather ironic craft bonfire in the middle of the kitchen floor. 

After several container loads I turn to see the flames had now turned into plumes of thick grey smoke which were billowing in fabulous style and, on meeting the pergola roof, funnelling straight into the house.

“DOORS!!!” I bellow, “CLOSE THE DOORS!!!”

Incidentally, the children think this is the most amusing thing they have seen since the movers hoisted their beds up the outside of the house.

I do not.

It took 4 more containers to finally put out the fire, and at the point the flames went out, the BBQ made sure we knew it had properly given up the ghost by ejecting the buttons off the front to lie in a sad, smouldering puddle on the floor.

That reminds me, I really need to order some sort of fire extinguishing device.

And a new BBQ.

In other news, our new neighbour came over to inform us that her cat had taken one look at Harry and refused to leave the house and would we mind if she put up a fence to stop Harry from being able to reach her back door.

Ummm, not at all lady, thanks for saving us the cost of doing it ourselves.

There’s only one small problem with the fence and that is for reasons known best to … well I actually have no idea who … the fence, despite being 6ft high, has a gap at the bottom so big that Olive can walk under it with only a slight stoop. 

Well done lady, you basically just made it a ton harder for us to get Harry back from your garden. In terms of how effectively your fence will hinder the dog’s movements, my assessment is somewhere between chocolate fireguard and our ex-BBQ.

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