My wheelchair was misbehaving the whole of yesterday. Every time I switched it on, it failed with the error code which means "left motor not working". I am very familiar with this error code :/ Fortunately, it started the second time, except on the train coming home when it needed four attempts to get going. It was also making terrible noises and threatening to drive me into things because of its refusal to turn left.
So I came home and emailed Richard, and after dinner he took the motor apart - and was up until 4 am working on it. Apparently he had to "cut a new profile" for one of the motor brushes and also "file away corrosion" on one of the contacts. I know the basics about how motors work because they're covered in GCSE Physics - which I took many years ago and have also taught - all that stuff about brushes and split-ring commutators and so on. Could I take one apart and fix one? No. Could many of my friends, even though they're all geeks? No.
Without Richard I would be involuntarily housebound until such time as a wheelchair repair shop got around to fixing it. And I have an exam on Friday! (More about this later)
A couple of weeks ago our boiler conked out - while it was negative degrees Celsius outside. I spent a few hours huddled in three layers of clothing including thermals and under a blanket while Richard fixed it. Could anyone with the knowledge fix it? No, because in order to fix it, Richard had to make a new part on his lathe, and most people I know don't have lathes in their houses! I almost feel like writing a letter to his sole surviving parent to say "Thank you for bringing Richard up in a house full of books and machine tools", but that would seem creepy. Unless I found a better way to phrase it.
I really did get very lucky with my choice of boyfriend, all those years ago.