9 hours, is, it turns out, how long our house alarm’s battery lasts if you make a mess of fitting a new ceiling light (largely because there is not enough room in the new ceiling mount to hold the 3 mains wires and all the connectors) and during the attempt to squeeze it all in there trip out one of the MCBs (that’s Minature Circuit Breaker), despite having taken a great deal of care to keep the wiring connected in the same logical way as with the previous fitting, and having decided discretion is the better part of valour because its getting late and dark and everything, so probably best to leave the ceiling wiring in a safe state and disconnect the new light, reset the MCB, only to find that some but not all of the lights on that circuit now work, but also, wouldn’t you know it, the house alarm is on that circuit too and is still not re-connected and has been bleeping plaintively but patiently every minute or so during the entire, what I was now calling, fiasco.

9 hours of leaving it and hoping it will be fine til morning takes us through to about 4am when the house alarm takes it upon itself to use its last dregs of battery power to inform the household that it is not in a happy place and therefore neither should we be, and no, the de-activation code no longer works, because hey, there’s no fooling this alarm. So, having had a chance to not really sleep on it, and realising that actually one of the wires might have popped out of a connector in the struggle to attach the damn ceiling unit and that might be the reason for the circuit only partially working, it was headtorch time, unset the MCB, poke the ceiling wiring, find the errant wire, re-insert/screw-in the wire to the connector, 3 or 4 times because the hands are shaking and its hard to think straight whilst sleep-deprived and with the alarm going off and all, set the MCB, enter the alarm code, and silence.