Sunday, 1 September 2019

The Great Flood

Hello dear readers!

Life can, at times, prove... Interesting.

Sometimes this interest is pre-planned, and much anticipated, often though it is the unexpected that make for the most interesting of times, as it rears up and hits us full in the face like a splash of ice cold water.

Yes, it can be those instances that really keep us on our toes, and provide the sharpest contrasts to out humdrum little lives.

This week’s was a doozy

To be fair, the days at the moment are not without their own brand of excitement anyway. There are things to do, places to be, and more than a little preparation to complete, before I head to York, in thirteen days time, to act as Best Man at a particularly good friends wedding. There’s a speech to finish writing for a start.Something I shall be concentrating on this week. Then there will be a suit to pick up, along with my tartan Troos (that’s trousers in Scottish). I have been warned off the Rupert The Bear mask, and with at least half the room being made up of our friends from the north, the suggested Tam o’Shanter/ginger wig combination could quite rightly be viewed as suicide-by-reason-of-gross-stupidity.

Of course my duds are all ordered, so the pick up should be pretty easy, but my wife’s outfit is another thing entirely. For that, we will need to make a trip to the White Rose Shopping Centre, a large and busy collection of countless shops and eateries under one expansive roof. As this little outing will no doubt entail visiting, re-visiting, and then visiting again various stockists of female clothing, until the right dress has been found, the right shoes to accompany the dress located, and something called a ‘fascinator’ purchased (Apparently, it’s a bit like a hat, but made of less material, and therefore more expensive). For reasons of sanity, I've secured an option to sequester myself in a coffee shop with a book while said wife, along with her mother, get these things sorted.

Suited & Booted
Having said all that there is one part of my outfit that may prove slightly more contentious, namely footwear. Anyone who has had the dubious pleasure of having Orthotic boots made by the NHS will no doubt understand the reason why, two weeks before the wedding, I have still to collect a pair of new boots. I do have an appointment with the department in question, but I’m unsure as to whether that appointment will see me leave with a pair of boots, or whether it’s a fitting. As a contingency I’m looking to buy some plain black shoes for the sole purpose of the big day. I'll then try not to stand too much.

Now, I may not be the best when it comes to planning, but the above has all been on the agenda for quite a while so although it all remains on the to-do list, it has been factored in and the above tasks haven’t cost me too many nights sleep. It makes life interesting, but not too interesting. No, too interesting happened on Thursday.

The day was going well, swimmingly, you might say although, as you will see, a different metaphor might be a better idea. Regardless, it was all going so well. I was on my way to taking the dog for a walk before our standing appointment at Slimming World, and that was the point that a flexible bit of piping, which supplies water to the bathroom sink, decided to burst.

Pipe Nightmares
That was the shock to the system this post is really all about. The splash of metaphorical and actual water which transformed me from a mild mannered person in control of his fate, into a panicked mess of a man who, it turns out, knows a surprising variety of swear-words.

Of course there's a device called a stopcock, designed specifically for this eventuality. A device that turns off the water supply in the home, and stops the contents of said home floating merrily down an increasingly damp street. This stopcock could not be located however, not by an increasing frantic me, not by my wife, Tina; not by her sister, Jenni, and not by the next door neighbour who we called on for his knowledge of a very similar house.

With bucket after bucket of water being poured down the drain to offset the rising tide, and the meter under the sink (which we did find) ticking it’s way round like the speedometer on a Lamborghini Murcielago, things were getting a little desperate. That’s when the aforementioned sister-in-law came through in big style. She knew a man, who had a van. In fact she new a whole company of them, They're the people who perform maintenance on her own home. It took them an hour to come round, ten minutes to find the cut off screw for the bathroom (still no stopcock, mind you) and even less time to fit a new and shorter length of pipe. The visit wasn’t even all that expensive compared to the horror stories you sometimes hear.

The shorter length of tube is the key here, because it appears that when the council appointed company that fitted the sink put in it’s predecessor the length of pipe was too, well, long. This seemingly led to the pipe rubbing against itself until it wore through.

Simply The Best
It’s another example of the sterling quality of council appointed work we've discovered more and more of since it’s ‘completion’, and another reason for us to wish that we had left them to work on the house's exterior and never let them cross the threshold of our home. It’s also the reason that Tina, has taken it upon herself to open up a further complaint with the local authorities (it’s her turn). I don’t expect any satisfaction from this process but surely they should send someone around to see how much money they’ve paid for such little quality.

As for me, well, I hope to be able to concentrate on the upcoming nuptials, and the part I’m playing in them. It’s not something I’ve done before, but I’m determined to do it to the best of my ability. Given the couple in question I owe it to them to do my bit in making sure it’s the best wedding ever.

Until next time.

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