I have, for a while, been looking at sticking a bookcase and unit behind the TV unit in the front room, so that I could put things on it and try and tidy up what is essentially all my gaming shit and make the front room look a bit tidier.
So today I decided to crack on and do it. Which meant dealing with what my dad would have referred to as a bunch of bastards when it came to all the wires behind the TV unit. Part of the plan involved tidying these up and organising them a little bit more.
But what it actually involved was me wondering what sort of mood I was in when I put all the wires in place the first time because they were all over the place. If there’s one thing I am massively anal about, it’s wires going to and from a variety of things. They all run a certain way so that they can be grouped together – power leads, Ethernet cables, AV connections. They should all run together so that I can easily distinguish what each group is without too much faff. And, of course, it keeps everything nice and neat.
Except that the natural state of a wire is not one of order. Unless you have cable-tied the living shit out of a bunch of wires they will pretty much do whatever the hell they want when you’ve connected them up, neatly, and put them to bed behind a unit. It’s like the story of the elves and the shoemaker where a group of elves come into the shop at night and mend all the shoes. Except in the case of wires, a bunch of elves come into the house and screw everything up.
I had knots and tangles and cables looping the supports of the unit when they shouldn’t have been. In the case of the looped supports, I couldn’t even fathom why I would have done that in the first place. I also marvelled at my choice of cable in certain circumstances – my Ethernet cables, for example, run from probably the world’s shortest all the way up to way too long for the job it’s currently doing. I hated myself for the whole thing.
It’s better now, though. But if I check them tomorrow, who knows?
One of the things I consciously did when I set out on this little furniture reshuffle and wiring purge was shut Peppa upstairs. The one thing you don’t want as you’re flinging wires around the place is a cat thinking that the loose end is actually some sort of toy. There’s only so much good humour you can muster as cat claws or teeth embed themselves in the plastic coating of a treasured connection.
However, once I got down behind the unit, I discovered that what I had created was an almighty dust trap. And one thing you don’t want to do when you’re round the back of expensive televisions, satellite receivers and game consoles is constantly sneeze loud wet sneezes into all their air vents. So I opened the front room window and the back door, so I could get a nice through breeze and move the dust a little.
I forgot about Trixie, didn’t I? I forgot about the neighbourhood’s newest addition and contender for most curious and unashamed house invader of the year award.
I’m happily behind the unit, chastising myself for my poor choices when I hear a little tinkling bell. I look up and there she is, sitting in the front room just looking at me. Wondering what I’m doing and, more importantly, if she can play with the wires I have just liberated from the sockets in order to reposition.
I mean, bloody hell.
She spent the next two hours with me, just bimbling around the place as I moved furniture and arranged things. I left the back door open through the whole thing so she could leave when she wanted. It just turns out she didn’t want to leave. She would much rather curl up on the couch and just watch the world go by. Or sit on the window sill. Or dive at a pile of DVD cases I had carefully stacked on the table and knock them all flying. Basically everything that I shut Peppa out for. Bloody cats.
It’s fairly rare for me to leave the back door open during the autumn and winter months, but it becomes something of a staple during spring and summer. I suspect I’m going to be hearing that little bell quite a lot as the months progress.
But the first time she bites a wire, she’s gone…