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"An Appreciation Of Life"


Hello All,

“Carbon Monoxide Alarms”

Not one to scare but does your Carbon Monoxide alarm work and is it installed in the correct place.
I have two alarms and I installed as per diagram even using a tape measure to make sure. Carried out the weekly tests. One of them I only purchased February of this year .
My son sleeps with his bedroom windows wide open whatever the weather but he had been feeling unwell and had been ill in bed with what I think the ladies call it man flu. I woke the other morning thinking I was dying, woke the wife who was worse than me. Headed for the bedroom door that we usually leave open but found it shut. My son had shut because I have been snoring bad of late. Cut a long story short, we had the Gas Board, and Ambulance out and it was confirmed we all had the symptoms of the carbon monoxide poisoning plus the gas flu pipe to our gas water heater was blocked even though we had the appliance serviced about the same time I purchased a new alarm. Though I thought that I was insured both with Barclays Home Emergency Cover and the same with HomeServe it turns out I have the wrong sort of boiler. My fault there as I should have read the small print about exclusions that was over three pages down from the included, even after being told verbally that it was included. Transcripts missing from sales lady . Barclays did except liability so HomeServe started repair to find block. After a few stop and goes work started and the flue was in pieces as was my boiler.
It’s explained that bits will be need to be ordered for the flu. That afternoon Homeserve ring to say that Barclays were withdrawing funding and it would be up to me to repair myself. Cost me £1,778.82 I was however funded for my one year old living room carpet that was soot damaged while the flue was being inspected .
I pay nearly £100 MONTHLY on Insurance. Being quite ill I was so worried about my wife being on her own, all I wanted was if anything went wrong was to pick up the phone, dial the number associated with the breakdown and it was fixed.With reference to the Carbon Monoxide Alarms, I had the new one replaced by Amazon no questions asked and I was also advised by the technical department whose phone number is printed on the alarm
to take the alarm with me wherever I go in the house always having in my breathing space.

Happy to be alive and post some more pictures

Life Goes On

A young Bluetit had just fledged the nest and is getting fed with meal worms and some small seed

Looks like a ladybird taken from a spiders web is on the menu

A Robin on the table.

Chaffinch finds a sunflower seed/

A blackbird does an audition to take off Parley Baer who played Chester in Gunsmoke. He use to be the one who was Matt Dillon’s side kick.

My goodness, a very brave or foolish pigeon squab perched on the neighbor’s . The house has a few cats and a dog. Bless my neighbor though, she took her cats in until the squab had moved on.

Ever had that feeling someone is watching you, my 3 year old granddaughter Brooke was shouting granddad a pigeon at your bedroom and sure enough the young squab had flown to my window sill and was doing a peeping Tom.

Looks like a bad hairday.

Picture taken from inside the bedroom looking out

What’s for dinner mum.

When I first caught sight of it you start singing"Once there was an ugly duckling"

*At long last a parent gives the squab some feed.
Perhaps seed softened with pigeon milk from the adults crop
Hope you enjoyed my warm up to re- blogging. Lots of noisy building next door and the garden a bit behind but soon as thing back to normal I hope to be taking many more photos. I’m at the Dentist’s later today for x-rays and a referral for the hospital to remove some broken teeth and some snapped stumps
Thank you Sheila GOU for getting me out of a rut

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Nice to see you back Tommy!

I don't know why we pay insurance...if I need to make a claim, the premiums go through the roof, It's a racket.
At least you are still alive and kicking, lucky escape there Tom.

27 Jun, 2012


Blimey lucky escape there good to see you back.

On the subject of home serve if you were told before agreeing to a contract your boiler is eligible you can argue a) you have a valid agreement covering your boiler as it was verbally agreed or b) the service was miss sold in which case you want a full refund. A verbal agreement will form part of a legal contract. Your only issue of course is to prove it. Suggest speaking to citizens advice they should be able to give some advice on attempting to obtain a refund. Otherwise if you google search consumer direct you should find a page on the direct.giv site with civil advice and template letters. Failing that drop me a pm and I'll see what I can suggest.

Hope you get it sorted out soon.

27 Jun, 2012


Hi Tommy ... keep safe... love your wildlife pics ..
Nice to hear from you again ... :o)

27 Jun, 2012


OMG Mr Tom this awful news and such a worry for you all.

Fabulous photos as always.

27 Jun, 2012


And that proves there's no such thing as 'man flue' ... it's what women say because they think only they are supposed to be ill.

I'm glad you got it all fixed in the end. Sorry to hear about your insurance though, but at least you're still alive.

27 Jun, 2012


Very lucky escape there thank goodness for 'insurance ' much too much smallprint and gobbledygook
they always seem to find a loophole (I could rant all day on the subject !)I agree with Samjp you should maybe contact citizens advice
Thank goodness you are all alive and well
loved the pics take care all.

27 Jun, 2012


Good to have you back, Tom. That's quite a sobering tale you told and a very lucky escape.
Love the squab!

27 Jun, 2012


What a scaring time you have had. When you say its the wrong type of Boiler? Who sold this you as you may have a claim if you were advised/sold the wrong type of boiler? Also who tested your flue emissions last and when? Because this may be negligence? Have you contacted The Gas advisory services on line or 01322 331312. As they helped me with Flue testing problems. I do hope you are recovering from your nasty scare.

27 Jun, 2012


How scary, so glad your all safe & sound. I know many Goyers were worried as to where you were.
Fantastic pics Tommy, no lasting side affects, your still on top form :-)

27 Jun, 2012


so pleased to hear you are alright, and lovely to see your pictures again, we were worried about you!!

hope its all sorted out soon

all the best to you all

27 Jun, 2012


I am so sorry to hear that you and your family have been ill through this Tommy and I am glad that your are all recovering. Wow, what a lucky escape and you must be counting your blessings as Carbon Monoxide is such a dangerous silent killer and many people are simply not aware of this. at least you had the foresight to get an alarm for it. I agree totally with the other comments, I would certainly pursue this further, to Homeserve and also I would make a complaint to the Gas Safe Register because whoever fit your boiler has been negligent. My husband is a registered Gas Safe Engineer so I know a bit about these things. I do his yearly follow up calls to his clients to arrange new appointments for the annual gas safety check and service and its so surprising how many people decline, saying they cant afford it, I understand that money is tight for everyone but this is their health and well being we are talking about here, I also get clients saying that they have switched to Homeserve as " its cheaper" and I do point out that certain things are not covered and some boilers are excluded but they seem to not want to know until they make a claim of course and then find out the hard way. If anyone would like any advice on carbon monoxide poisoning my husbands website ( has a full page devoted to it with excellent advice to keep you protected at all times and if anyone does have any concerns what so ever then do not hesitate to follow the following instructions:

What should I do if I think my appliance is spilling carbon monoxide?
Switch off the appliance and do not reuse until remedial action has been taken
Shut off the gas supply at the meter control valve (if you know where it is). If gas continues to escape call National Grid on the Gas Emergency Free phone Number 0800 111 999
Open all doors and windows to ventilate the room - do not sleep in it
Visit your GP urgently and tell him/her that you believe your symptoms may be related to carbon monoxide poisoning and request either a blood and/or breath sample
Contact a Gas Safe Registered Engineer to make repairs

Stay safe everyone!

27 Jun, 2012


How awful. I hope you've all made a full recovery now. There's a few lessons to be learnt for all of us from your blog. The photo's of the birds are great. How do you manage it? Everytime I try the bird flies away and I end up with a photo of nothing! Either that or I haven't zoomed in enough :-)

27 Jun, 2012


Thank you Marion. The years go by and we forget these things are important. I must remember to have my system checked by my Heating Engineers in October.

27 Jun, 2012


Mine's checked every year, like yours Tommy - but in my case, being on the 3rd floor, they can't check the flu as part of the contract, even though they should, because they can't access it from the outside. Not a lot of use really. On the other hand, I have a combi boiler, which only runs when you turn on the hot tap or the heating's on, so overnight's not an issue. Thank heavens you lived to tell the tale... but on the subject of carbon monoxide detectors, how can you tell if its working properly? Seems you only found out by nearly dying, despite, presumably, the weekly tests being fine.
Nice birds - specially the squab, don't think I've ever seen one before.

27 Jun, 2012


Fantastic to see you back on here Tommy!! Lucky escape for you all and thanks for putting out the warning as I think most of us have gas boilers these days. Great blog and great pics (as usual).
Take care. X

27 Jun, 2012


So glad you are all safe and well now x hope you find an ombudsman of some sort to help you get compensation x

27 Jun, 2012


Thank you all for your well wishes, comments and advice .
Very much appreciated.

29 Jun, 2012


Goodness Tommy thats a very scary experience, thank goodness you and your family are ok now, I had missed this blog..
It grand to see you back with your lovely blogs and pics.....

18 Jul, 2012

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