Country mouse has an oil crisis

Those nice people at Bentley lent me their new Continental GTC convertible to enjoy the June sunshine. It’s everything you could hope for-fast, refined and still with enough room to pick up eldest son from university with all his clobber and a year’s washing. Sadly, the only place to get the roof down was in the garage, leaving me unable to show off to the rest of the village. Suffice to say, it’s a marvel. Mrs Hedges wants one. It’s impossible to fault, except that it’s rather thirsty.

However, it has been the heating oil rather than the petrol that has made the largest dent in our coffers. Somehow, water has got into the underground oil tank, which has knocked out the Aga and destroyed the hot-water pump.

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The finale to the wettest drought in history was that almost 100 litres (22 gallons) of water has got into the tank via a valve that had been removed (adding new oil through such a valve is a lot quicker than using the proper tanker attachment). Closer inspection revealed that all the valves of the local oil syndicate, which should be permanently fixed, had been removed. I would check yours.