Bad news: the comedy of errors continues...
The main problem here is the gas. After last week's troubles, I phoned OnStream on Monday to arrange a new date for the meter installation. The girl I spoke to suggested 25th November! I suggested today, and she agreed to that. Yesterday the Fulcrum guys turned up and extended the gas pipe from the mains into my bedroom; the holes in the road have also been mostly filled in. So far, so good.
Today, the builder turned up to wait for the meter guys, but by 3pm there was no sign of them. I phoned Onstream again, and they said that they didn't have any record of an installation being booked for my flat. In fact, they said that the card I got last week must have been put through the wrong door, but I tried to explain that this was actually correct. I then called British Gas, and they said "yes, your meter's going in today". I told them about Onstream denying all knowledge of this, so I stayed on hold while the British Gas person spoke to Onstream. She then came back to me and said "Oh, yes, you're right - the job must not have cleared our system" (i.e. a computer problem meant that it was typed in but not sent out). She rescheduled it for next Wednesday, and I told my builder that he could go (no point in hanging around anymore).
This is all rather annoying, and it also delays the plumbers (who need to connect the meter to the rest of my pipes), and therefore the installation of my washing machine/dishwasher, and therefore the rest of my kitchen/skirting boards, and therefore my painting. Also, after the building work on Monday, the shop downstairs found a leak in their ceiling on Tuesday, so I've now turned off all my water until that can be fixed. That means no running water here at all (hot or cold), and more wandering around to toilets elsewhere.
To cap it all off, I then found another card from Onstream when I got home tonight "we called today to fit your meter - we'll be back on 3rd December". Aargh! It's like trying to deal with the Men in Black... I'll speak to people on Monday, and I'll try to put something in writing to the watchdog, but it's hard to avoid phrases like "You are taking the fucking piss!"
In the meantime, I think I'll do my painting in stages, rather than all in one go. It's a nuisance, but at least it means I can get some unpacking done, and also get my fireplace operational, before I completely freeze my 'nads off.