I was very excited when I checked the letterbox on arriving home today.
As well as the phone bill – yawn – there was a collection card which required a visit to the post office.
“It’s my new passport”, I realised straight away, marvelling at how quickly it had arrived (less than two weeks).
And it certainly is impressive for a number of reasons. I love all the new technology, the chips, the ghost immages, and all of the associated stuff to make it more secure.
And I love it because, at long last, I look like an adult. In my old passport, I looked a bit “just got out of bed”, whereas in this new one I’m wearing a suit, glasses etc.
Best of all, though? It means I can go travelling again, with plans already underway for a trip to NZ in a couple of months, and back to Sweden next year.
“It’s good to check the letterbox”, I reminded myself when I walked back up the street, as I hardly ever check it these days, because most of my correspondence is now done online.
“And especially good to check to see if you have any overdue bills”, I thought, “especially those which tell you the power is about to be disconnected”.
For some reason or other, the auto-payment thing on my electricity bill stopped a few months ago. But of course, because I thought it was an auto-payment, I never opened the letter when it arrived a few weeks ago.
Thus, when I arrived home last night I discovered they had already switched off the power.
When I woke this morning the place was eeeeeeerily quiet. No clock radio. No television. No gentle hum from the refrigerator.
The first thing I did this morning was ring up, pay the bill, and ask them to re-connect.
“We need you to be there during a four hour window”, the bloke on the phone told me this morning.
“Couldn’t you just do it remotely?”, I asked, with an answer in the negative. Apparently you have to be there in case anything has been left on. It’s a safety issue, apparently, though I suspect it’s probably more of a liability issue than a safety one.
“Most people say they’ve been overseas. No one ever says they forgot to pay”, the bloke who came to re-connect told me jokingly this afternoon.
Anyway, so I’ve got the power back on. I WILL remember to pay the bill. And I WILL remember to check the letterbox more often.