Friday, 27 July 2012

Stop, cock.

The water thing.  Part II.

The Wessex Water workmen didn't return the next day as originally promised, which meant we had a week or so with the jerry-rigged hosepipe supplying the house with running water.  In the meantime, the local plumber was summoned. He's a very charming young chap by the name of Ollie, does a good job, is polite, friendly and doesn't demand unlimited tea and biscuits. Plus the dog loved him.  He examined the work done outside, and then ferreted around the kitchen looking for water pipes.

He ascertained that all the pipes were sited behind the (new-ish) kitchen cabinets, so went to investigate the downstairs toilet for possible pipe access.

"Oh dear," he said. "It's a really nice little room, isn't it?"

Yes it is.  Thanks for noticing.  Oh, you mean too nice to hack holes in the walls to get to the pipes?  Yes, that too.

We had a cup of tea while we decided how best to approach the problem.  The problem being that the water pipes running from the OUTSIDE of the house to the INSIDE of the house are most likely in the same terrible colander-like state of corrosion as the external water pipes, and therefore need to be replaced.

And, of course, we have to arrange - and pay for - that part of the work to be done, hence the visit from Ollie the Plumber.  The tea drunk, we decided on a plan of action.  Sadly, some of the kitchen cupboard interiors would have to be sacrificed to the greater good, but there would be no visible damage to the exteriors.  I was ok with that, and set about emptying cupboards with a will. Mr WithaY deftly dismantled the complicated corner cupboard can-store mechanism thingy, and we were ready to go.

Well.  The plumber laid out giant dustsheets all over the kitchen floor and strewed a collection of tools across them.  The dog immediately sneaked in and stole one of his screwdrivers, carrying it proudly to Mr WithaY. We returned it, and tried to teach the dog what "Get the most expensive-looking drill" means, but to no avail.

Ollie the plumber began carving holes in the back of the cabinets.  He was very careful and tidy, but even so.  When you've spent a bloody fortune having your kitchen refitted from top to bottom, it's not much fun watching it being partially dismantled and hacked about to fix something that is beyond your control.

I closed the door and the dog and I sat companionably in the sitting room, trying not to listen to the sound of holes being drilled in the house.  Every so often I would pop my head into the kitchen and see how things were going.  There was a deep, deep hole running from the back of the cupboard out to the garden.  Ollie was trying to connect it up with the hole on the other side, and wasn't having much luck, it seemed.

The drilling continued, the house shook, the dust levels increased, and the long day wore on.

Eventually the plumber came and found me.  He was unable to go any deeper until we had the septic tank emptied, as it was so full that it was backfilling the hole as fast as he pumped it out.

Ugh.

So.  We booked the nice man with the shit-sucking truck to come and do the dirty deed, and once that was complete we could get the plumber back to connect up the interior pipework.  Once THAT was done the Wessex Water chaps could come back and reconnect our water supply to the proper underground pipes rather than the temporary blue plastic hose.

It was like some sort of evil nursery rhyme.  The old lady who swallowed the fly, then swallowed the spider and so on until she swallowed a horse*.  

Anyway.  Where there was once a deep pit several inches full of dirty water, now there is a tidy patch of concrete with a neat little plastic drain cover in it.  And we have a stopcock inside the house, which I don;t think we had previously.  All we need now is the bill from the plumber.

One a different note, this week I watched a 1970s TV documentary about the first English chapter of the Hell's Angels that I was pointed to via Twitter.  It was interesting, in a weird "Withnail and I" way, and the voice-over commentary made it sound like an old Monty Python sketch.  One of the gang had wildly crossed eyes, the result, the commentator explained neutrally, of having "both his eyes knocked out of their sockets in a fight."

The thing that struck me the most, apart from the lack of traffic on the streets, was how young they all looked.  I assume that's because I am getting old.















*She's dead of course.




2 comments:

Mary Ann said...

Oh dear:( Maybe you'll win the Lottery or something to pay Ollie's bill.

livesbythewoods said...

Hello Mary Ann, sorry for the delay in a response, I've been sadly neglectful. Thankfully the bill wasn't TOO dreadful, but it was still a nuisance we could have done without.