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Yes, I know what you mean. Things like that become intensely personal, as valueless as they might be to any other person on the planet. You certainly got good service out of them!

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I have two or three jumpers and a few shirts that have been valued 'workmates' for well over 30 years and refuse to die completely.   Ideal for dirty or rough work where a few more splashes or rips hardly matter.   Trousers don't last as long; the left knee in particular is prone to developing holes through kneeling, although Mrs P is a dab hand at sewing on patches.   A decent pair of jeans gets relegated to DIY tasks after a decade or so, with its holes or rips progressively darned or patched until, alas, it has to be turned into a pair of shorts - with the cut-off material retained for patching its successors.   Zips don't always last either; my current favourite working trousers developed a frontal fault last week and had to go in for emergency zip replacement on Sunday - 96p well spent (especially as it was 20% off day at the haberdashery)!   The Irishman's knife comes to mind ...

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Talking to a friend who lives in Wimbledon last night, says he has seen -7' C over the last couple of days.... :o He's a heating engineer, and he's been very busy over the last couple of weeks. He was telling me this weather puts a lot of strain on boiler that are near the end of their working life. (I reminded him of my Christmas ordeal.)

Apparently, one of the most common problems, (20+ reported during one night alone) is frozen condensate outlets. As some of you may know, modern central heating boilers produce liquid (water) during their burning process. This is piped away from the boiler via a fairly small tube, usually of white plastic construction. If this pipe is routed somewhere unheated before it reaches a drain, drips of "condensate" (water to you and me) can freeze, leading to a blocked condensate outlet. When the boiler senses this is blocked, it will shut off. No heating!

Properly installed systems shouldn't suffer with this problem, but .... Plainly, some installers are taking a gamble that poor weather won't last long enough, nor become so cold, this pipe in an unheated position would block. I can't remember the last time we had continuously cold weather for 10 or so weeks, and I'm not looking forward to this quarters gas bill ..... :( It will not make good reading ... Even worse for those with a call-out fee added for a heating engineer to provide a hair dryer for an hour or so. 

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